Bolivia Seeks to Mine Rare Earths

Jan 2024

Mining has a long tradition in Bolivia, and the South American country is one of the most important tin producers. The country and foreign investors have high hopes for its lithium resources, the largest in the world. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates the country’s resources to be around 21 million tons. However, the government is also planning to develop the extraction of technology metals and rare earths, as the Bolivian newspaper El Potosí reports, and several promising deposits have already been identified, according to the responsible minister Marcelino Quispe López. The aim is to meet the growing international demand for critical minerals. To date, Latin America has only played a minor role in extracting rare earths, although Brazil, for example, has the third-largest reserves worldwide, as figures from the USGS (PDF) show. Given efforts to diversify supply chains, South America’s wealth of raw materials is increasingly attracting the attention of international mining companies.

Photo: iStock/hadynyah

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