Economy & Business - August 2023

Chinese firms begin extraction of Bolivian lithium

On 12 July, the CBC consortium of Chinese firms comprising CATL (the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles), BRUNP, and CMOC announced that it had begun extraction of lithium in Bolivia, six months after signing an agreement worth US$1bn with state-run company Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) to install two direct lithium extraction (DLE) plants. The Chinese government confirmed on 18 June that it was increasing its investment in the Bolivian lithium sector by US$400m, further cementing China’s place as Bolivia’s largest trading partner and investor.

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