Bolivia and South Korea have agreed to a joint venture to exploit the lithium battery business sector. The Korean state run Korea Resources Corp or KORES as it is known announced on Sunday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bolivia's state-owned mining corporation COMIBOL. The consortium included POSCO, SK Innovation Co. and LG Chem, Ltd.
The signing of the agreement between the South Korean consortium and Bolivia took place in La Paz on Saturday as per KORES. Shin-Jong Kim the chief executive of Kores said that currently 10 countries including France, Japan, China, Brazil as well as Korea are engaged in a fierce competition to become Bolivia's lithium business partner. He was convinced that the joint Korea-Bolivia lithium battery project will place Korea in a position of advantage over the others.
Bolivia presently claims almost half of the world's known lithium reserves with a deposit of some 5.4 million tonnes. This makes it a great strategic partner for the South Koreans. The two parties also agreed to launch a task force team to push for the joint lithium battery project including the joint venture to be built in Bolivia. No extra details about the proposed venture were given.
POSCO, the world’s fourth-largest steelmaker, also plans to bid for construction of lithium-carbonate manufacturing and processing facilities in Uyuni. The Pohang-based steelmaker has been looking to become an “all-round materials developer” by branching out to metals like lithium, magnesium and nickel.