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FMC ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EXPLORE AND DEVELOP MAJOR NEW LITHIUM SOURCE IN BOLIVIA

 FMC ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EXPLORE AND DEVELOP
 MAJOR NEW LITHIUM SOURCE IN BOLIVIA
 SALAR de UYUNI, Bolivia, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- At a contract signing here today, attended by Bolivian President Jaime Paz Zamora and members of the Bolivian congress and government, FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) announced plans to explore and develop a major new source of lithium in South America.
 The lithium source is a brine deposit, said by industry experts to be the largest lithium reserve in the world. Located in the basin of the Salar de Uyuni, near Potosi in southern Bolivia, the deposit has identified reserves of approximately 8.9 million metric tons of lithium metal.
 The contract will be finalized, and exploration will begin after the Bolivian congress ratifies the contract.
 Production is expected to begin within four years. After the Bolivian congress approves the contract, FMC will invest $50 million to $90 million in the project, depending on the size of the production facility.
 According to Paul L. Schroeder, president of FMC's Lithium Division, "FMC is pleased to have concluded our negotiations with our new partner in Bolivia, and we look forward to beginning the exploration program immediately following ratification by the Bolivian congress."
 Schroeder also noted that FMC continues to pursue new brine deposits throughout the world to identify economical sources of lithium to meet future demand. In 1990, FMC began exploring a major brine deposit in Argentina that could be a long-term source of lithium.
 FMC's Lithium Division, headquartered in Gastonia, N.C., is the leading worldwide producer of lithium and related lithium derivative. Lithium products are used worldwide to produce lubricant grease, ceramics and glass products, pharmaceuticals, aluminum, rubber and plastics, sanitizers, batteries, lightweight alloys, air conditioning systems and silicon chips. The company currently produces lithium from spondumene rock mined in North Carolina. The brine deposits represent a new economical source of lithium for the division.
 FMC Corporation is one of the world's leading producers of chemicals and machinery for industry, government and agriculture. The Chicago- based company reported annual sales of $3.9 billion in 1991, with international sales to more than 100 countries accounting for 43 percent of total annual revenues. FMC employs 23,000 people at 95 manufacturing facilities and mines in 18 countries. The company divides its businesses into five major segments: Industrial Chemicals, Performance Chemicals, Precious Metals, Defense Systems, and Machinery and Equipment.
 /delval/
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 /CONTACT: Deborah F. Witmer of FMC, 215-299-6871, or Lisa Lazorko of Weightman Public Relations, 215-561-6100, for FMC/
 (FMC) CO: FMC Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: MNG SU: DSC


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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 14, 1992
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