Bolivia-China Lithium Deal is a ‘Scientific Revolution’: Expert

The recent agreement signed between Bolivia and China to install two industrial complexes with Direct Extraction of Lithium (EDL) technology, in Potosí and Oruro, represents a technical and ‘scientific revolution’, says Brazilian International Relations professor, Bruno Lima.

Lima, who authored a recent paper titled; “The ‘lithium mineral war’ and the Empire in Latin America”, in an interview with Sputnik, says that “if other countries copy the Bolivian model of lithium industrialization and have a profitable association for technology transfer, they will be successful.”

Likewise, he explains why Latin America must end the export of raw materials and replace the practice with industrialization: “[Bolivia] will not be limited to selling in the international market, but will create a complete cycle. A part of the lithium is sold to the international market, for example, to China, but the other part is dedicated to processing, transferring, and technological development.” 

However, the Bolivian model will require investment. He points out that China, the Bank of the South, and the BRICS bank could contribute to this process. Lima also believes that this industrialization should take place outside the US dollar framework:

“If these operations are done outside the dollar standard, then it would be perfect. We would really be talking about a quality leap for the Latin American presence in the market and in the international system”, he asserted.

According to the agreement recently signed between Bolivia’s state-owned company YLB and the Chinese company CATL BRUNP & CMOC (CBC), the Bolivian state-owned company will supervise the entire soft metal industrialization process, from extraction to commercialization. The Chinese partners will invest more than $1 Billion for the start-up and construction costs of the industrial complexes.

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