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LatinNews Daily - 09 October 2019

In brief: Strike in Bolivia over lithium royalties

* The Comité Cívico Potosinista (Comcipo), a civil-society group in Bolivia's Potosí department, has begun an indefinite strike demanding more royalties for the exploitation of lithium and the defence of natural resources. Luis Alberto Echazú, deputy minister of high energy technologies, announced the state’s investment to industrialise Bolivian lithium has so far reached US$650m. Comcipo additionally wants to repeal supreme decree 3738 which outlines the state’s joint lithium project that is being carried out by Germany’s ACI Systems and Bolivia’s state-owned mining firm Yacimientos de Litio Boliviano (YLB). According to the governor of Potosí, Juan Carlos Cejas, the strike is both an “abuse” and a “political ploy”, given royalties cannot be discussed whilst the construction process of lithium plants is in progress. Cejas reiterated that the strike was only relevant to the central zone of Potosí and confirmed that banks, mines, and schools were functioning as normal.