Bolivia and South Korea have agreed to a joint venture to exploit the lithium battery business sector, the state-run Korea Resources Corp (KORES) announced July 31. KORES has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bolivia’s state-owned mining corporation COMIBOL to form a consortium that will also include the private Korean firms POSCO, SK Innovation Co. and LG Chem, Ltd. The signing took place in La Paz. KORES chief executive Shin-Jong Kim said that currently 10 countries including France, Japan, China and Brazil are engaged in a fierce competition to become Bolivia’s lithium business partner. He said that the joint Korea-Bolivia lithium battery project will place Korea in a position of advantage over the others. Bolivia presently claims nearly half of the world’s known lithium reserves with an estimated deposit of around 5.4 million tons. POSCO, the world’s fourth-largest steelmaker, also plans to bid for construction of lithium-carbonate manufacturing and processing facilities in Uyuni. (AZ Mining, Aug. 1)
See our last post on the global lithium wars.