Bolivia's Lithium Reserves Hold Promise, But Only On Its Terms
RIO GRANDE, Bolivia — On a remote Andean plain here, a short drive on unpaved roads from the world's largest salt flat, 120 government workers are constructing a facility to help power the fuel-efficient electric cars of the future.
The plant, in a sparsely populated region, is supposed to begin producing basic compounds of lithium, which is used to make batteries for cell phones, power tools, computers and other electronic devices, by year's end.
Government officials think that Bolivia possesses the world's biggest lithium reserves, and they also think that the country is poised to profit big-time from the automakers' push to develop electric cars that will run on lithium ion batteries.
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