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China consortium to develop lithium deposits in Bolivia

Expected to start commercial operation, export in Q1 of 2025.

A salt flat in Uyuni, Bolivia: Bolivia has the world's largest known reserves of lithium, estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey at 21 million tonnes. (IC Photo)

The Bolivian government has chosen a Chinese consortium led by battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology to invest upward of $1 billion to develop untapped lithium deposits, with the ambitious goal of producing lithium batteries in the country by 2025.

Bolivia has the largest lithium reserves in the world but little local means to develop them. The state-owned Bolivian Lithium Deposits (Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos), known as YLB, has signed agreements with the consortium, CBC, to jointly exploit, refine, process and market lithium resources, the country's Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy said on Jan. 20.

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