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Russia and China Take the Lead in Rush for Bolivia’s Lithium


Russia, just like China, has gained access to Bolivia’s lithium reserves, estimated at 23 million tons, and believed to be the richest known lithium deposits in the world. Bolivia’s seeming preference for China and Russia has experts worried, however, due to both countries’ low environmental standards and regulations for their companies and risks of corruption and inefficiency, among other issues.

The Bolivian government has already signed agreements with the Chinese consortium CATL BRUNP & CMOC (CBC), and the company Citic Guoan Group. In mid-December 2023, Bolivia also signed a $450 million deal with Russian state firm Uranium One Group, a…

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