Profiting from Bolivia’s mineral riches

The Uyuni salt flats, Bolivia, home to one of the world's richest despoits of lithium

How do some of the world’s poorer countries deal with the balancing act of developing their own natural riches, while not allowing others to unfairly profit?

Should they hang on to total control of their own resources, even when they may not have the expertise or the money to exploit it properly?

One nation faced with this problem is Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in Latin America. It is sitting on a modern-day treasure trove, the world’s biggest deposits of a metal which has a central role in the push for lower carbon emissions.

It is lithium, a light metal which is the third element in the periodic table and is used in the batteries of electric cars and mobile phones. Bolivia has 50% of the world’s known reserves.

Foreign investors are queueing up to offer advice and investment, but Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales wants to keep a firm hand on the country’s precious lithium wealth.

Source: BBC

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