Bolivia has qualified nine foreign firms to begin lithium extraction tests in Altiplano. About 20 companies bid for a partnership contract for mass production.
Bolivia is looking for the best technology for the country’s EDL (Direct Lithium Extraction) project. Nine companies have been approved on the pilot testing phase in Uyuni salt flat, Energy Minister Franklin Ortiz said in a statement.
The names of these nine companies have not been disclosed yet. Russia’s Rasotom had previously announced being one of the bidders for the mining contract.
EDL technology will reduce the deadline to begin industrial production of cathodes, lithium carbonate and eventually lithium batteries for electric vehicles.
Bolivia is one of the countries with the largest lithium reserves, mostly located in the Uyuni, Coipasa, and Pastos Grandes salt flats in Bolivia’s southwestern highlands.