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On 12 December 2018, the Bolivian state-owned company Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the German company ACI Systems Alemania GmbH (ACISA) founded the joint venture YLB-ACISA. It was sealed by the signatures of Juan Carlos Montenegro, CEO of YLB, and Professor Wolfgang Schmutz, CEO of ACISA, in the presence of senior government representatives from both countries. The aim of the joint venture is the sustainable extraction and industrialization of lithium, as well as other raw materials from Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt lake.
After more than three years of intensive preparation, the launching of the joint venture YLB-ACISA on 12 December 2018 in Berlin lays the foundation stone for implementing a long-term Bolivian-German energy and mobility initiative.
As part of this joint venture, lithium hydroxide is to be extracted from so-called residual brine. The residual brine comes from existing evaporation basins, which were constructed for the production of potassium chloride and lithium carbonate. With previous technologies, the residual brine could not be used for anything else and therefore had to be discarded. Thanks to ACISA's innovative process, it can now be utilized to produce lithium hydroxide profitably with a high lithium yield that is suitable for use in batteries. In the coming years, there is a plan to establish a further joint venture to manufacture cathode material and battery systems in Bolivia and Germany.
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