Bolivia’s government is starting a debate on lithium royalties to find common ground on the issue.
“Different sectors have expectations of improvement through the law on the issue of royalties. As a government, we are willing to work to reach a consensus,” deputy minister of energy resources Raúl Mayta told a press conference.
One lithium bill is currently in the senate and another in the lower house, but they are expected to be unified into one for approval.
The senate bill entails a 10% royalty when lithium carbonate reaches US$10,000/t and 20% at US$30,000/t, while the lower house bill establishes 3% at US$10,000/t and 18% at US$50,000/t.
Mayta said the government was seeking dialogue with several organizations to defend social demands but also help the lithium industry advance various projects.
He added the current law includes gaps that need to be filled. New regulations must focus on commercialization, transportation, storage and industrialization, Mayta said.
Currently, only state company YLB can extract and industrialize lithium.
In January, the Luis Arce administration signed an agreement with Chinese consortium CBC – made up of CATL, BRUNP and CMOC – which promised a US$1.4bn investment to build two production plants with EDL technology in the Uyuni and Coipasa salt flats.
Source : BN Americas