DGWA INDUSTRY NEWS: BOLIVIA CANCELS LITHIUM PROJECT WITH GERMAN PARTNER
Dear friends and business partners,
the Bolivian government has issued a decree overturning the joint venture for lithium production in Bolivia set up with the intensive support of the German government! Despite it being officially unfounded, violent protests by the affected population as well as the lack of progress delivered by the JV cause for this hitherto unique, but certainly trend-setting decision.
Doubts about the feasibility of the projects have been expressed by experts not only in Germany since the very beginning and it is becoming increasingly obvious that the extraction and acquisition of raw materials is not only about the lowest price, but rather about the sustainability of the entire project – from the mine to the end product.
The drinking water-intensive extraction of lithium from salt lakes, especially in South America, the further processing in “dirty” factories in China, child labour, corruption and civil war in the DRC – none of this has been an issue in procurement departments of global corporates until recently, since raw materials were sourced from the world market or global trading houses and no official information about their source was available.
This concept will eventually come to an end and, at least in the Western world, purchasing strategies focused solely on price will be supplemented by sustainability concepts.
Consequently, “sustainable mining” credentials will be established in the future and relating thereto two prices on the market – one for “clean” and one for “dirty” raw materials – since some solely price-focused buyers focused will still persist.
DGWA has been cooperating with relevant authorities, organisations, interest groups and universities, representatives of large corporates and, in our view, appropriately qualified raw material companies for a long time, thus offering solutions for the realisation of sustainable raw material production.
CEO DGWA GmbH
Frankfurt am Main, November 4th, 2019