BMW participates in sustainable lithium mining project in Chile
The BMW Group says it is setting another important milestone in its lithium sustainability activities by contributing to a scientific study on the effects of lithium mining with BASF.
According to the press release, the responsible use of natural resources is one of the core elements of the BMW Group's sustainability commitment. As part of these activities, the company has joined the cross-industry project "Responsible Lithium Partnership". The project aims to reach a common understanding with local stakeholders on the responsible use of natural resources and to develop a vision for the future of the Salar de Atacama.
The "Responsible Lithium Partnership" was initiated in spring 2021 by BASF, Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Daimler Truck AG, Fairphone and the Volkswagen Group for a planned duration of three years. It does not promote the procurement of lithium or the purchase or sale of mineral raw materials.
The BMW Group joins the initiative as its sixth member and supports the project, among other things, with scientific findings on the effects of lithium mining on water resources in the Salar de Atacama, Chile. Together with BASF, the BMW Group had already commissioned a study to investigate the impact of lithium mining on local water budgets in Latin America from the University of Alaska-Anchorage and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst at the end of 2020. The study aims to better understand scientifically the interactions between the freshwater and lithium brine layers, to evaluate different technologies and thus achieve competence in assessing sustainable lithium mining. The study would provide a scientific basis for future decisions on the sourcing of lithium.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is coordinating the project with the aim of jointly developing a vision for the future of the Salar de Atacama watershed. To this end, stakeholders from lithium and copper mining, agriculture, tourism, indigenous communities and state actors are invited to a local multi-stakeholder platform to jointly develop measures. Furthermore, a joint action plan to improve the long-term management of natural resources will be developed and implemented in the first steps.