Volkswagen Group, BASF, Daimler AG and Fairphone start partnership for sustainable lithium mining in Chile
This cross-industry partnership will initially be financed by the Volkswagen Group, BASF, Daimler AG and Fairphone.
The Responsible Lithium Partnership will start in spring 2021 with a planned term of 2.5 years.
Several companies have initiated a “Responsible Lithium Partnership,” which works towards the responsible management of natural resources, including lithium, in the Salar de Atacama, Chile. This cross-industry partnership will initially be financed by the Volkswagen Group, BASF, Daimler AG and Fairphone. The aim of the partnership is to promote the dialogue between local actors, to generate and synthesize scientific facts and to look for solutions in a participatory manner.
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Due to the expansion of e-mobility and digitization, an increasing demand for lithium as a key material for batteries is expected in the next few years. The world’s largest lithium reserves and large parts of the total production are located in the Salar de Atacama. The region’s ecosystem is fragile and there is no consensus on the effects and risks of lithium mining and other economic activities in the region. Potential risks resulting from shifts in water and brine levels could potentially damage ecosystems and impair local livelihoods. In order to effectively address such water-related risks, stakeholder cooperation is required.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH commissioned by the companies coordinates the partnership, which is looking for common ground by building a multi-stakeholder platform for all relevant actors in the Salar catchment area – from civil society groups including indigenous communities, government institutions, mining companies and Furthermore.
The aim of the platform is to enable a common understanding of the status quo and to jointly develop a common vision for the future of the Salar de Atacama watershed. In addition, it intends to jointly develop a joint action plan to improve the long-term integrated management of natural resources and the first steps towards implementation.
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Another aim is to synthesize existing technical data, to verify it, to improve it if necessary and to increase the accessibility. The Responsible Lithium Partnership will start in spring 2021 with a planned term of 2.5 years. It is not intended to facilitate the procurement of lithium or the purchase or sale of raw minerals.
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