Iran, Bolivia Form Lithium Parternship


"Not discussed whether other business partnerships would be possible."

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced this week that Iran will "partner" in the development and manufacturing of the country's lithium reserves. Morales made the announcement on the completion of a three-day visit to Tehran, where the governments of Bolivia and Iran reaffirmed a political and economic alliance, along with several cooperation agreements.

"Bolivia is aware of the broad scientific knowledge of Iran, to be partner country in the industrialization of lithium," Morales said in a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It was not explained whether the alliance with Iran to industrialize the lithium metal considered key to the industry of electric cars would leave other possible partners such as the Japanese companies Mitsubishi and Sumitomo, the French Bolloré Kores and South Korea, and the governments of Brazil and Venezuela, among others.

Morales said last week in La Paz that Bolivia may have in its hands the key to a comprehensive change in their matrix by adding salt flats of the highlands, mainly in Uyuni, reserves of 100 million tons of lithium.

These reserves, which amount to 70% certificates of deposits of this metal in the world at the moment, will be operated exclusively by the Bolivian state until the production phase of lithium carbonate and related products, such as potassium chloride.

The Bolivian president said his country would need foreign partners into the next phase of industrialization, including the manufacture of batteries.

Morales said in Tehran that "the development of lithium resources is not merely one isolated mineral export as raw material, but the production of lithium batteries and other products."

Bolivian media reported that Iran confirmed on Wednesday a revolving credit of 200 million euros for projects of industrialization, and opened its market for Bolivian agricultural products like soybeans, rice and sugar.

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