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Sustainable prevention of resource conflicts. Risky raw materials for the future? Case study and scenarios lithium in Bolivia (Report 3.3); Rohstoffkonflikte nachhaltig vermeiden. Risikoreiche Zukunftsrohstoffe? Fallstudie und Szenarien zu Lithium in Bolivien (Teilbericht 3.3)

Abstract

In Bolivia's western highlands, at an altitude of some 3,600 metres, lie the largest identified reserves of lithium in the world. According to the latest estimates by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), beneath the 10,000 square kilometres of what are the world's most extensive salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni, there are some 6 to 9 million tonnes of lithium (Roskill 2008 nach Angerer, Marscheider-Weidemann, Wendl et al. 2009, Jaskula 2010a). Exploitation of those reserves has not yet begun, though the Bolivian government has constructed a small 6 million US Dollar pilot plant on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, and has some ambitious plans: ''Lithium is the hope not just for Bolivia but for all inhabitants of the planet'', stated Bolivia's President Evo Morales in February 2009 (Bajak/Valdez 2009). Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The production of lithium, and the revenues it can generate, represents a major development opportunity for the country. Lithium is a key constituent of lithium ion batteries. Already in widespread use in mobile phones, camcorders and laptops, they are also increasingly needed to power hybrid and electric vehicles, which is why many analysts regard lithium as one of  More>>
Authors:
Taenzler, Dennis; Westerkamp, Meike; [1]  Supersberger, Nikolaus; Ritthoff, Michael; Bleischwitz, Raimund [2] 
  1. Adelphi Research, Berlin (Germany)
  2. Wuppertal Institut (Germany)
Publication Date:
Apr 15, 2011
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
UBA-FB-001478/3.3
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Umweltbundesamt. Texte v. 25/2011
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; RISK ASSESSMENT; POLITICAL ASPECTS; GLOBAL ASPECTS; RESOURCES; BOLIVIA; LITHIUM; RAW MATERIALS; CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Sponsoring Organizations:
Umweltbundesamt, Dessau (Germany); Bundesministerium fuer Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, Berlin (Germany)
OSTI ID:
21438539
Research Organizations:
Umweltbundesamt, Dessau (Germany)
Country of Origin:
Germany
Language:
German
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: Foerderkennzeichen UFOPLAN 205 74 251; ISSN 1862-4804; TRN: DE11G6333
Availability:
Commercial reproduction prohibited; OSTI as DE21438539
Submitting Site:
DE
Size:
53 pages
Announcement Date:
Jun 08, 2011

Citation Formats

Taenzler, Dennis, Westerkamp, Meike, Supersberger, Nikolaus, Ritthoff, Michael, and Bleischwitz, Raimund. Sustainable prevention of resource conflicts. Risky raw materials for the future? Case study and scenarios lithium in Bolivia (Report 3.3); Rohstoffkonflikte nachhaltig vermeiden. Risikoreiche Zukunftsrohstoffe? Fallstudie und Szenarien zu Lithium in Bolivien (Teilbericht 3.3). Germany: N. p., 2011. Web.
Taenzler, Dennis, Westerkamp, Meike, Supersberger, Nikolaus, Ritthoff, Michael, & Bleischwitz, Raimund. Sustainable prevention of resource conflicts. Risky raw materials for the future? Case study and scenarios lithium in Bolivia (Report 3.3); Rohstoffkonflikte nachhaltig vermeiden. Risikoreiche Zukunftsrohstoffe? Fallstudie und Szenarien zu Lithium in Bolivien (Teilbericht 3.3). Germany.
Taenzler, Dennis, Westerkamp, Meike, Supersberger, Nikolaus, Ritthoff, Michael, and Bleischwitz, Raimund. 2011. "Sustainable prevention of resource conflicts. Risky raw materials for the future? Case study and scenarios lithium in Bolivia (Report 3.3); Rohstoffkonflikte nachhaltig vermeiden. Risikoreiche Zukunftsrohstoffe? Fallstudie und Szenarien zu Lithium in Bolivien (Teilbericht 3.3)." Germany.
@misc{etde_21438539,
title = {Sustainable prevention of resource conflicts. Risky raw materials for the future? Case study and scenarios lithium in Bolivia (Report 3.3); Rohstoffkonflikte nachhaltig vermeiden. Risikoreiche Zukunftsrohstoffe? Fallstudie und Szenarien zu Lithium in Bolivien (Teilbericht 3.3)}
author = {Taenzler, Dennis, Westerkamp, Meike, Supersberger, Nikolaus, Ritthoff, Michael, and Bleischwitz, Raimund}
abstractNote = {In Bolivia's western highlands, at an altitude of some 3,600 metres, lie the largest identified reserves of lithium in the world. According to the latest estimates by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), beneath the 10,000 square kilometres of what are the world's most extensive salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni, there are some 6 to 9 million tonnes of lithium (Roskill 2008 nach Angerer, Marscheider-Weidemann, Wendl et al. 2009, Jaskula 2010a). Exploitation of those reserves has not yet begun, though the Bolivian government has constructed a small 6 million US Dollar pilot plant on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, and has some ambitious plans: ''Lithium is the hope not just for Bolivia but for all inhabitants of the planet'', stated Bolivia's President Evo Morales in February 2009 (Bajak/Valdez 2009). Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The production of lithium, and the revenues it can generate, represents a major development opportunity for the country. Lithium is a key constituent of lithium ion batteries. Already in widespread use in mobile phones, camcorders and laptops, they are also increasingly needed to power hybrid and electric vehicles, which is why many analysts regard lithium as one of the key raw materials in the move towards sustainable mobility in the post-oil era (National Research Council (U.S.) 2008, Angerer et al. 2009, Tahil 2007; Chameides 2009). As the demand for lithium rises and its importance grows, the question arises as to the risks and opportunities associated with it. The resource booms of the past did little to promote Bolivia's development and improve the standard of living of its population. Indeed, Bolivia has a long history of resource-related conflict and political instability. This report (3.3) therefore investigates the risks and opportunities associated with the establishment of industrial-scale lithium production in Bolivia. Its analysis follows on from reports 1 and 2, illustrating and expanding upon their results. Likewise, this empirical case study will feed into the proposed solutions and recommended action to be set out in reports 4 and 5. This report is divided into a case study and four scenarios. The case study serves as an analysis of the status quo. It sets out potential conflict risks and opportunities arising from the situation as it exists in 2010. The subsequent four scenarios depicted were devised in the course of a Scenario Workshop in conjunction with a group of experts. They make use of the case study depicting the status quo to set forth a range of potential trends through to the year 2030. The opportunities and risks are summarised both according to the structuring of the case study and broken down by the individual scenarios depicted. The conclusions draw together the findings from the case study and scenarios to present the main conflict risks arising in relation to the establishment of industrial-scale lithium production in Bolivia. (orig.)}
place = {Germany}
year = {2011}
month = {Apr}
}