Rosatom, the Atomic Energy Corporation, and YLB (Lithium Deposits of Bolivia) Bolivian State Company have entered into a framework agreement on the construction of a lithium carbonate mining and production complex in the Potosí Department of Bolivia. This collaboration between Russia and Bolivia aims to tap into the growing demand for lithium, a critical element in the development of energy storage systems.
Lithium has gained significant importance in the green economy, finding extensive application in various high-tech industries. With Bolivia possessing the world’s most abundant lithium reserves, this joint project holds great potential for establishing a complete production chain, starting from mining lithium raw materials to deriving marketable products.
The agreement marks Rosatom’s first large-scale foreign venture in lithium production, with investments totaling approximately $600 million. The plan entails
constructing an industrial complex with an initial capacity of 25,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year, with the potential for expansion based on future geological exploration activities. Rosatom is committed to supporting Bolivia’s interest in the expedited commissioning of the first stage and the prompt initiation of finished product manufacturing. Furthermore, Rosatom will provide training programs to develop qualified personnel and contribute to the growth of the high-tech industry in Bolivia.
Uranium One Group, a subsidiary of Rosatom, secured the agreement by participating in YLB’s International Competition of Direct Lithium Sorption Extraction Technologies. As per the agreement, Uranium One Group will be involved in constructing the industrial complex based on the brine spring (salar) of Pastos Grandes in the Potosí Department. The lithium mining process will rely on Russian direct sorption extraction technology, known for its cost efficiency and environmentally friendly nature.
Rosatom has been consistently fostering cooperation with Bolivia. The ongoing project to construct the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development CNTRD) in El Alto, the only facility of its kind in Latin America, demonstrates the potential for applying nuclear technology in sectors such as health and agriculture. Radiopharmaceuticals produced at the ROSATOM-built cyclotron complex have already been delivered to Bolivian clinics. This new joint Russian-Bolivian endeavor will further contribute to the country’s social and economic development, ultimately enhancing the quality of life for the Bolivian population.
The signing ceremony will be attended by esteemed individuals including the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce Catacora, the President of YLB, Carlos Ramos, the Minister of Energies, Franklin Molina Ortiz, and the President of Lithium One Bolivia, Jorge Alberto Roca Kauffmann, who represents Uranium One’s Bolivian subsidiary.
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