Lithium extraction in Bolivia – CIDSE

Lithium extraction in Bolivia

“Between safeguarding supply and promoting sustainable development: which role for the EU in South America’s “lithium triangle”? Insights from the case of Bolivia

A Policy paper by Broederlijk Delen and CEDIB, April 2024

In November 2023, a delegation of CIDSE’s Belgium member, Broederlijk Delen and its partner organisation, Centro de Documentación e Información Bolivia (CEDIB) visited the lithium exploration sites in the Uyuni region in the Bolivian Andes and participated in meetings with representatives of indigenous communities living near these sites.

This policy paper aims to give an overview of the debate around lithium extraction in Bolivia, the perspectives of local communities and the relevance of these issues for EU policy makers and private actors. It concludes with policy recommendations in the context of the EU’s agenda with regard to the supply of critical raw materials, EU-Latin America relations and renewed interest from EU investors in Bolivia’s lithium value chain. 

In doing so, the briefing sheds a critical light on the role of both EU and Bolivian actors at this possible turning point for the future development of lithium projects in Bolivia.

Additional reading
Lithium in Bolivia: Hoe ‘groen’ is onze energietransitie? original article by Broederlijk Delen

Contact person for additional information:
Wies Willems, Policy Officer for Natural Resources, Broederlijk Delen (Wies.Willems(at)

Cover Photo: Exploration works for lithium extraction in the Uyuni salt flat.
© Wies Willems – Broederlijk Delen

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