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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:53 PM

Bolivia opens first lithium plant on edge of Uyuni salt flats

Bolivia opens first lithium plant on edge of Uyuni salt flats
By Emily Alpert
January 4, 2013, 4:00 a.m.

Bolivia has announced the opening of its first lithium plant, as the South American nation seeks to tap its vast salt flats for the silvery element used in batteries for electric cars, cellphones and laptops.
President Evo Morales heralded the opening of the pilot plant in Llipi, on the edge of the Uyuni salt flats, calling it “a historic day” for Bolivia, the state news service reported Thursday.

“These are important steps – and of course, they must be expanded,” he said.

State mining officials say the $19 million plant is expected to produce 40 metric tons of lithium carbonate annually, a paltry amount compared with what Bolivians eventually hope to reap from the salt flats. The country is believed to have some of the biggest untapped reserves of lithium in the world.

Morales has sought to nationalize the country's energy sector and has pressed for Bolivia to not only profit off its lithium but to industrialize it, someday producing its own batteries and cars. It's been said that Bolivia can become “the Saudi Arabia of lithium.”

More:
http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-bolivia-lithium-plant-20130103,0,2879002.story

5 replies, 1617 views

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Reply Bolivia opens first lithium plant on edge of Uyuni salt flats (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Peace Patriot Jan 2013 #1
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #2
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #3
Peace Patriot Jan 2013 #4
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:01 AM

1. "the Saudi Arabia of lithium"? What a way to put it! Bolivia is a DEMOCRACY.

And a damn good one, with a leftist government that will not permit the profits from lithium or any other resource to enrich a bunch of filthy, woman-terrorizing, Bush-crime-family-connected sheiks!

It seems that that's all the corporate press can imagine, for an abundant resource--lousy sheiks and phony "princes" getting filthy rich! They can't imagine the resource being used to help the poor, to equalize society, to build schools and hospitals, in a democratic society as a democratic choice. So they project their corporate media moguls' lust for those riches--their own desire to be sheiks and "princes"--onto Bolivia. What paltry, sick imaginations they have.

"the Saudi Arabia of lithium"! Jeez.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:16 AM

2. We can refer to corporate media as the "Saudi Arabia" of honesty,

in complete comparison to the desert there.

Just don't see Bolivians with all the swagger and self-importance, either, of the Saudi royalty.

I also can't imagine people like George W. Bush stealing a wee kiss with members of the Venezuelan government, as he did with King Abdullah.






Still can't believe the U.S. model of complete assholes shrieked their lungs out to each other claiming President Obama shamed them (can anyone EVER shame them more than they do, themselves?) by "bowing" to a Saudi character. At least he didn't grope him, did he?

That "Saudi Arabia of lithium" did stand out as way too silly.

Of course we see right through these clowns. They must be completely drained after a long day of blowing such baloney out of their keyboards.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:37 AM

3. Perhaps

 

They were comparing the size of reserves as opposed to who profited from them.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:04 PM

4. Excuses, excuses! nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:21 PM

5. Bolivia has half world's lithium, opens processing plant

Bolivia has half world's lithium, opens processing plant
By Travis Andrews
4:02PM on Jan 12, 2013



Half of the world's lithium, the lightest of any solid element and an important component in electric car batteries, is hanging out in Bolivia. There's enough of the element to make car batteries for 4.8 billion (with a B) electric cars, and now the country has built its first lithium processing plant.

In a move Bolivian president Evo Morales called "historic," the country plans to process its lithium by making it into various kinds of batteries with the $19 million plant. Comibol, the state-run mining company, claims the plant can begin producing 5,000 tons of lithium carbonate every year, possibly reaching 30,000 tons per year by 2016. That would put the country on par with Chile, the world's leading producer of lithium.

At the moment, estimations put Chile's lithium reserves at 5.4 million tons, almost double Chile's 3.3 million and a far cry from Argentina's 2.7 million. Until now, it's hasn't been being harvested.

The lithium plant could have a great impact on Bolivia but also for the burgeoning reality of electric cars as a common mode of transportation. At the moment, many of these are estimates, but if they're found to be correct, electric cars could become a whole lot more feasible.

http://dvice.com/archives/2013/01/bolivia-has-hal.php

(Short article, no more at link.)

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