Bolivian President Evo Morales announced this week that Iran will “partner” in the development and manufacturing of the country’s lithium reserves, an association which had also shown interest from industry groups and governments of other countries.
Morales made the announcement on the completion of a three-day official visit to Tehran, where the governments of Bolivia and Iran reaffirmed a political and economic alliance, along with several cooperation agreements, according to state news agency ABI.
“Bolivia is aware of the broad scientific knowledge of Iran, to be partner country in the industrialization of lithium,” Morales said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the agency said.
It was not explained whether the alliance with Iran to industrialize the lithium metal considered key to the industry of electric cars, left side definitely 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. He acknowledged that the country lacks resources and the technology needed.
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.” Precisely in this process is that Iran is a partner of Bolivia, “said ABI.
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.