Pdts. from Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Mexico will hold a Congress on lithium | News

Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, countries participating in the forum “Perspectives of Lithium from Latin America”, held on April 13 and 14, agreed to raise the dialogue on this mineral to an international congress of presidents to be held this year, announced the Bolivian Hydrocarbons Minister, Franklin Molina.


Bolivia will host the first Latin American forum on lithium

According to the official, these countries are aware of the enormous challenges imposed today by the new energy transition agenda towards renewable energies and electromobility, but also of the main role that this energy transition occupies in the geopolitical disputes that today dominate relations international.

“In light of the different historical experiences in each of the countries that own important litiferous reserves, we may ask ourselves in the future if it is possible to design new sustainable extractive and productive schemes today, aimed at supplying our own transition plans. energy, and under what social and economic, political and geopolitical, technological and socio-environmental conditions”, said the minister.

“In order to address these and other questions, we will hold the ‘International Lithium Congress’, which will be face-to-face and will include the highest political authorities from Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Mexico,” he added.

The meeting will also feature the main world leaders in the academic, professional and social organizations of different disciplines, institutions and nationalities, under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) together with the United Nations.

The representatives of the countries and ECLAC agreed that lithium is a strategic resource that helps curb climate change and highlighted the need to develop innovative and environmentally friendly strategies to exploit and industrialize this natural resource,

The director of ECLAC’s Natural Resources Division, Jeannette Sánchez Zurita, opened the round of presentations at the forum to point out that the energy transition and the growing production of electromobility will demand more quantities of lithium.

Meanwhile, the Chilean Mining Minister, Marcela Hernando, said that her country has 63 saline environments with potential in 18 salt flats, with the Atacama Salt Flat being the most relevant, as part of her presentation: “Lithium in Chile: Current News and Perspectives ”.

According to Hernando, to take advantage of the metal for the benefit of his country, it is necessary to overcome some difficulties such as the lack of knowledge of how the salt flats behave and their social and environmental sustainability.

In this sense, he assured that, after the arrival of President Gabriel Boric to power, the intention is to create the national company, lithium, to develop a new industry with the participation of the communities, among other actions to ensure sustainable management with respect to the communities.

For his part, the Undersecretary of Institutional Coordination of the Argentine Secretariat of Energy, Guillermo Usandivaras, who attended on behalf of the Secretary of Energy, Darío Martínez, reviewed the two decades of production of this resource that currently has two extraction projects, two for exploitation, two for construction and 50 for exploration.

Usandivaras commented that lithium began to form part of the first category mines, which can be acquired by private, national or foreign agents, through provincial mining concessions, without terms or conditions, in accordance with the Argentine Mining Code.

In turn, the Mexican Secretary of Energy, Rocío Nahle García, reported that her nation has 1.7 million metric tons of lithium reserves, according to the United States Geological Institute.

Mexico has 36 concessions in the lithium industry, 27 of them currently active and controlled by 10 foreign capital companies. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced in recent days that he will present a bill to nationalize lithium.

Similarly, the head of Hydrocarbons and Energy of Bolivia, Franklin Molina, stated that one of the main concerns of the members of the forum is “to guarantee energy security and sustainability to have a reliable supply.”

“Our Latin America becomes a fundamental actor in the global energy context because more than half of the world’s reserves are located in the countries of Bolivia, Argentina, Chile. This places us in an important geopolitical context because the lithium content in the region is a key factor for the energy transition strategies underway”, she evidenced.