ROSATOM and Bolivian state firm YLB inked an accord, expanding lithium cooperation. The deal, signed in La Paz in the presence of President Luis Arce, focuses on a pilot plant for lithium carbonate production at Uyuni Salt Pan. This builds on a prior agreement for lithium mining and production tech exploration at Pastos Grandes. The Russian sorption extraction method showcased promising results in Bolivian salars.
In a significant move witnessed by Bolivian President Luis Arce in La Paz, ROSATOM's Uranium One Group JSC and YLB (Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos) sealed a pact for erecting a pilot facility dedicated to lithium carbonate production at the Uyuni Salt Pan in the Potosí Department.
The accord signifies YLB's keenness to bolster its lithium-related collaboration with its Russian counterpart. The venture took flight earlier in the year through a foundational agreement, aiming at a lithium carbonate mining and production complex leveraging Russian sorption extraction technology in Pastos Grandes, Potosi Department. Over this period, extensive geophysical surveys of the salar were conducted, and an initial feasibility study for the project was formulated. Collaborating with the Tomás Frías Autonomous University, the Russian sorption extraction method underwent laboratory trials, affirming its effectiveness in Bolivian salar brines.
The freshly penned agreement to establish the pilot plant at Salar de Uyuni also highlights the application of Russian direct lithium sorption extraction technology. Spanning an area of over 10.5 thousand square kilometers and situated at an elevation of 3,650 meters above sea level, the Salar de Uyuni stands as the world's largest lithium salt pan. The Uyuni region boasts robust industrial development, an extensive network of roads, and secure energy resources. The project blueprint by the Russian company anticipates launching the pilot installation within two years, gradually ramping up lithium carbonate production to approximately 14 thousand metric tons per annum.
ROSATOM's venture into lithium exploration abroad marks yet another stride for Russia in fortifying and fostering relationships with friendly nations keen on fostering trade and industrial ties with the country.
ROSATOM's collaborative efforts with Bolivian state entity YLB in establishing lithium production infrastructure signify a significant step in enhancing bilateral cooperation. The venture's expansion from Pastos Grandes to Uyuni Salt Pan indicates promising strides in leveraging Russian technology for lithium extraction, underscoring ROSATOM's commitment to fostering trade relations and technological cooperation globally.