“In Bolivia we could define the price of lithium for the world…Now I have realized that some industrialized countries do not want competition,” Morales said while speaking with former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa according to an exclusive RT report published on Thursday.
Morales had been seeking to nationalize the extraction of the country’s lithium reserves in order to “secure the country’s future,” the RT report wrote.
The president’s tenure, however, was challenged after the US-backed opposition rejected the country’s October 20 election results.
Morales ultimately resigned on November 10 under pressure from Bolivia’s armed forces and went into exile in Mexico.
Bolivian ambassador saysThe Bolivian ambassador to Tehran has, in an exclusive interview with Press TV, slammed foreign-backed opposition for ousting Evo Morales.
Morales’ forced resignation came only a week after he canceled a massive joint lithium project with a German company.
RT also reported that the US-based Tesla company, which uses lithium batteries for its electric cars, saw its stock jump after Morales’ departure.
Estimated to be at around 900 million tones, Bolivia’s lithium reserves are believed to contain 70 percent of the world’s known lithium, representing a lucrative market for international investors and competitors.
The mineral is essential in the manufacturing of long-lasting batteries and electric cars.
According to a report published by the German carmaker Volkswagen earlier this year, Lithium “will in the near future be one of the most sought-after raw materials on earth.”
The report added that forecasts indicate that demand for the mineral “will more than double by 2023” largely due to the car industry.
Did US oust Morales for Bolivia’s lithium reserves?Analysts speculate that the recent military coup in Bolivia may have been intended to bring the massive Bolivian lithium resources under US control.
Last month, the New York based Bloomberg company also published an article detailing that the “US and Europe fear a lithium supply crunch” as demand for the mineral increases across the world.