Bolivia's lithium frontier: Can public private partnerships deliver a minerals boom for sustainable development?

Hancock, L., Ralph, N. and Ali, S. H. (2017) Bolivia's lithium frontier: Can public private partnerships deliver a minerals boom for sustainable development?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 178 551-560. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.264

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Author Hancock, L.
Ralph, N.
Ali, S. H.
Title Bolivia's lithium frontier: Can public private partnerships deliver a minerals boom for sustainable development?
Journal name Journal of Cleaner Production   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-6526
Publication date 2017-12-30
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.264
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 178
Start page 551
End page 560
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, NX Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 2105 Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
2300 Environmental Science
1408 Strategy and Management
2209 Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Abstract Lithium is central at least in the short term, for transitions to renewable energy. Substantial deposits reside in South America's 'lithium triangle' in Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. Bolivia has promoted lithium industrialization through vertically integrated mineral development under resource nationalism and public-private partnerships with foreign corporations. Central to the Bolivian vision is a desire to harness the most environmentally appropriate technologies for national development and to move away from exploitative extractive models so prevalent in developing countries. Bolivia has been at the forefront of Global South climate change arguments about carbon debt and resource rights for just and fair sustainable development. We discuss the debate on cleaner production for lithium, challenges of Bolivia's lithium industrialization under Indigenous President Morales, and investigate how the desire for cleaner technologies has cultivated unusual governance arrangements via public private partnerships (PPPs) between state enterprises and foreign-owned private corporations. We consider this model for developing remote mineral reserves for advanced cleaner production technologies that are necessary for the transition from a fossil fuel to a low carbon global economy, alongside addressing sustainable development goals. Lithium is vital for energy storage, renewable energy and the electric vehicle industry. To meet rising lithium demand with minimal environmental and social impacts, novel approaches are needed to international resource extraction partnerships that transcend ideological biases; with their efficacy evaluated. Our research aims to pave the way to such an evaluative framework, using Bolivia's lithium as a central case. Key research issues for developing the framework and initial criteria of evaluation are proposed, focused on how public private partnerships interface with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Governance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID CE 140100012
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 10 Mar 2018, 20:15:45 EST