Home » Bolivia signs $450-mn lithium deal with Russia
Energy Featured News Russia

Bolivia signs $450-mn lithium deal with Russia

Bolivia, home to some of the world’s biggest lithium reserves, signed a $450 million deal Wednesday with Russian state firm Uranium One Group to produce the key battery and electric vehicle components.

Under the agreement, the Russian firm’s parent company, Rosatom, will invest in Bolivia over two years to build a pilot lithium plant in the country’s south, said the Bolivian government and Uranium One Group executives.

“This agreement follows the production and sales model we are proposing to every company that wants to work with our lithium. We will be participating in every point of the production chain,” President Luis Arce said at the signing ceremony.

Bolivia’s 23 million metric tonnes of certified lithium reserves have drawn interest from China and Russia, which have allied with the South American country to launch industrial-scale production.

Together with Argentina and Chile, Bolivia makes up the so-called “lithium triangle.”

Uranium One Group was one of seven firms vying for the contract under a tender launched last year by Bolivia’s state-run lithium firm, YLB.

YLB chief executive Karla Calderon said the pilot plant would produce 1,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate in its first year, before eventually scaling up to 14,000 tonnes per year.

Bolivia is projecting lithium exports of $5 billion next year, outstripping its key natural gas industry, which has been hit hard by declining investment.

Source: Macau Business