Bolivia’s state-owned mining company Yacimientos del Litio Bolivianos (YLB) has passed over a US offering in favour of China’s CATL, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer, to help unearth the country’s mostly untapped lithium reserves.

A consortium led by CATL signed an agreement promising two new lithium extraction plants in the Potosí y Oruro salt flats, the country’s hydrocarbons and energy ministry said in a statement on January 20. 


The consortium vied with seven others for the deal, but won out ahead of Russian and US candidates for its experience, purpose-specific technology and water-efficient techniques, the ministry’s statement notes. 

Part of the ‘lithium triangle’, alongside Argentina and Chile, that has already garnered Chinese investment, Bolivia holds the world’s largest lithium resources, according to the US Geological Survey data. 

Western countries are increasingly wary of China’s involvement in lithium mining as the race to secure the crucial mineral begins.

Amazon anchors in Virginia

Amazon’s cloud computing provider, AWS, unveiled plans to invest in a huge $35bn worth of data centres in the US state of Virginia, five years after anchoring its second headquarters there.

Virginia’s governor, Glenn Youngkin, announced the company’s investment on January 20. The state government is designing a Mega Data Centre Incentive Programme that, if approved, will yield AWS up to 15 years of extended tax exemptions and a $140m grant.


“With the highest concentration of tech talent in the US, Virginia boasts one of the largest data-centre workforces in the nation — an advantage that sets us apart and directly benefits an industry leader like AWS,” said secretary of commerce and trade Caren Merrick.

AWS will roll out the funds by 2040.

Polymetal eyes Kazakh listing

Anglo–Russian gold miner Polymetal is considering relocating its listing from London to the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), located in Kazakhstan’s capital city. 

The AIFC, an offshore financial centre with its own jurisdiction based on English common law and independent courts, “is deemed to be friendly by the Russian Federation”, the company said in a statement on January 25. 

The announcement comes as the company tries to navigate mounting western sanctions on Russia, where it holds eight gold and silver mines. A relocation to the AIFC “could unblock the ability to execute further corporate actions”, the statement reads as the company looks for viable ways to split its Russian assets. 

Masdar doubles down on African bet

Renewable energy company Masdar will continue its African spending spree with new commitments to fuel three gigawatts (GW) of energy in Angola and Uganda, it said in a statement on January 20.

The Abu Dhabi state-owned renewables developer promised to develop 2GW in Angola and 1GW in Uganda to promote a clean energy transition.

This forms part of Masdar’s Etihad 7 initiative, which launched last year and promises up to 20GW in renewable energy to the African continent by 2035. 

Worldwide, the company is planning to develop 100GW of green energy by 2030.

“The UAE is committed to advancing sustainable development in the ‘global south’ — and especially in our brotherly nations in Africa,” Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology and chairman of Masdar, said in the statement.