Bolivia Uyuni plant to yield first lithium by 2025-end – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – January 22, 2024)

Bolivian state-owned lithium company YLB has inked a new deal with a Chinese consortium to install a pilot plant at the vast Uyuni salt flat, which would use Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology.

The project will see the construction of a 2,500 tonnes-per-year lithium carbonate facility that will be operated by the CBC consortium, formed by CATL, BRUNP and CMOC.

CATL is the world’s largest battery maker for electric vehicles (EV). BRUNP is CATL’s subsidiary focused on recycling technologies and CMOC, previously known as China Molybdenum Company Limited, is the largest molybdenum producer in Mainland China.

The partners, which expect lithium from the project within 18 months, hope that the pilot plant will demonstrate the feasibility and profitability of extracting the coveted light metal from the brine under the salt crust using DLE technology, and pave the way for larger-scale operations in the future.

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