Louis Arce is looking for other investors for Bolivian lithium after criticism from the US

Louis Arce is looking for other investors for Bolivian lithium after criticism from the US
Bolivian President Luis Alberto Arce (Reuters)

Two weeks after Gen Laura RichardsonThe commander of the US Southern Command said that “hostile forces” want to take control of the area Lithium in South AmericaGovernment Louis Ars He protested, but then announced that there would be space for 42 foreign companies.

He was the person most protesting Richardson’s words Evo Moraleswith allusions to the “backyard of the Empire”, but a reaction Arce seems to be responding to the urgency it has to attract foreign investment And above all, who Good relations with the United States to reach agreements with the International Monetary Fund.

Spokesmen for the Morales movement even said that Cucalero was forced to resign from the presidency in November 2019 because the “empire” wanted to seize Bolivian lithium, which is considered the largest reserve of this metal in the world.

The announcement says the possibility is now open for other companies to join the Bolivian lithium business, such as Citic Guoan and Tbea Group of ChinaYour night solutions United State Uranium is one group of Russiawho have expressed interest in starting negotiations with Bolivia to manufacture this resource.

Last January, the government of Luis Arce signed an “agreement” with the contemporary Chinese consortium Amperex Technology (CATL), the text of which has not been released although there is a law ordering it, to produce lithium carbonate in the Uyuni and Quebasa salt flats with an estimated investment of $1,080 million.

A file photo of the factory of the Bolivian State Corporation YLB in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (Reuters)

And now, Russia’s Uranium One group is offering an app Revolutionary way To extract lithium from the most humid brines in South America, consisting of an electronic “sorbent”. The brines from Bolivian lakes are more resistant to evaporation than those from the salt flats of Argentina and Chile, where pools are used to evaporate them. The Russian company is also working with rare earth elements found in Bolivia that have been the subject of negotiations between the two governments, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit.

And there Other interested countriesaccording to a government report.

Expert Napoleon Pacheco mentions that the German company ACI Systems signed an agreement with the Bolivian government in 2018 to do the same in the lithium hydroxide plant for seventy years, with an investment of $1,300 million. For this purpose, the YBL ACISA mixed consortium was created, but the contract was canceled by the government of Evo Morales himself a year later, something that the German company’s lawyers consider irregular and hope that the agreement will be re-established or the Bolivian state will pay millions in damages.

According to the United States Geological Survey in 2020, the three countries in South America’s “lithium triangle,” Pacheco says, concentrated 58% of the world’s 86 million metric tons of resources, with Bolivia 24.4% and Argentina 22.4%. and Chile, 11.2%. In terms of total reserves, lithium is economically and technically profitable to extract, from a world total of 21 million metric tons, Chile has 43.7%, Argentina 9%, Australia 22.3%, China 7.1% and the United States 3, 6%.

Experts stress that there is no study with regard to reserves in Bolivia, although only various estimates are available, including those in 21 million tons.

and all that Amidst the biggest economic crisis and the biggest corruption scandal This shakes the government of Luis Arce, which must also face international blame for human rights abuses and continued attacks by Evo Morales.

A delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arrived to learn about the conditions of more than 130 political prisoners still being held by order of Collero Morales, according to relatives of the prisoners. It is, they say, the cocalero’s sick desire to take revenge on all those he accuses of participating in or even celebrating his resignation and quickly fleeing in 2019.

The influence of coca plantations on justice is so evident that Justice Minister Ivan Lima said the next judges might be better because “this time they will not be chosen by Evo”.

The Arce government seemed oblivious to Morales’ control of justice, but now supports an initiative to leave the selection of judge candidates for next year’s special elections in the hands of the MAS party.

Read on:

Tension in the ruling Bolivian party: Evo Morales once again attacked Luis Arce on the anniversary of the founding of MAS
Bolivian teachers have declared a 48-hour hunger strike against Luis Arce’s curriculum.

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