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South Korea and Bolivia sign agreement for cooperation in lithium development

Saturday, August 28th 2010 - 06:23 UTC
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President Evo Morales is currently visiting South Korea  President Evo Morales is currently visiting South Korea

South Korea and Bolivia agreed to deepen discussions for a possible joint venture on developing lithium deposits in the South American nation.

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales discussed ways the two countries can cooperate in areas including mineral resources development and trade, Lee’s office said today in a statement.

Morales, on his first visit to South Korea, said Bolivia will soon open an embassy in the Asian country, according to the statement.

Bolivia, with the world’s largest untapped lithium reserves, has yet to take mining beyond the pilot-project stage. The South Korean economy, Asia’s fourth-largest, depends on imports for almost all its energy and minerals needs.

South Korea is boosting its stockpiles of rare metals, including lithium and silicon, to the equivalent to 60 days of imports by 2011, according to the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Lithium is used for making rechargeable cells for electric cars, phones and laptop computers. It also helps make glass and ceramics heat resistant, is used as a lubricant and in a drug to treat depression.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Latin America.

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