Can Bolivia Jump-Start its Lithium Industry? A Q&A with Analyst Juan Carlos Zuleta

Bolivia is home to the world’s largest lithium resources. Together with Chile and Argentina, the so-called “lithium triangle” holds almost 60 percent of the planet’s known lithium deposits, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But while Chile and Argentina are among the top global producers, alongside Australia and China, Bolivia has yet to produce lithium in commercial quantities. For two decades, successive governments have tried to jump-start Bolivia’s lithium industry, attempting both pro-market and statist strategies, with unimpressive results. Efforts at privatizing the industry in the 1990s failed. So did attempts by longtime President Evo Morales to expand the government’s role in the industry through a state-owned lithium company and to promote local production of batteries and electric vehicles. President […]