India gains access to Bolivian lithium reserves
New Delhi- India has leveraged its way into the Bolivian lithium reserves after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bolivia for development and industrial use of lithium, a prime component used to power electric vehicles and cell phones.
A joint statement, issued after talks between President Ram Nath Kovind and his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales Ayma on Saturday said: "Both the countries agreed to forge mutually beneficial partnership to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium Carbonate to India and foster joint ventures for lithium battery / cell production plants in India.” Currently, Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind is on a three-nation tour to South America.
This move will make Bolivia, which is known to have one-fourth of the world's lithium reserves, one of the major provider of metal for India's e-mobility and e-storage needs.
The two countries have also agreed to facilitate mechanisms for the commercialization of Lithium Carbonate and Potassium Chloride produced in Bolivia by Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos Corporación (YLB - Corporación), the statement added.
Additionally, India has also proposed a follow-up visit to Bolivia by a delegation from National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage of India for taking forward the cooperation in the area of battery storage solutions .
A delegation from Khanij Bidesh India Limited, which is a joint venture of three mining public sector units, under the Ministry of Mines of India recently visited lithium mining areas and other facilities in the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. As per the US Geological Survey, salt flats in the highlands of the Salar de Uyuni alone contain nine million tonnes of lithium, or about 25 per cent of the world's known deposits.
This agreement is supposed to form the backbone for the recently launched FAME India policy (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) and will also give a substantial push to India's ambition to have at least 30 per cent of its vehicles run on electric batteries by 2030.
In a total, India and Bolivia have signed eight MoUs in various fields of mining, space, traditional medicine during President's Kovid three day visit to the country.