What Happened: The Bolivian government has canceled a joint venture with Germany's ACI Systems to construct a lithium processing plant and battery factory, Deutsche Welle reported Nov. 4.
Why It Matters: The cancellation of the joint venture is a notable setback for Bolivia's strategy to establish its lithium operations and compete with other global producers, such as Argentina, Chile, Australia, China and the United States. Ongoing political uncertainty and protests over Bolivia's recent presidential election could limit the country's ability to exploit its abundant natural resources.
Background: The proposed joint venture has attracted criticism from locals demanding the government extract greater royalties from participating companies. Bolivia's Uyuni salt flat is estimated to hold roughly 70 percent of the world's lithium reserves, a critical component for the production of batteries.
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- Lithium: Powering a Global Revolution (Oct. 20, 2017)