Terms      Contact Us
Page width Text size
Chile launches tender for value-added lithium projects
ALABC
/ Categories: Industry News

Chile launches tender for value-added lithium projects

Chile said on Monday it would shortly begin accepting bids from local and foreign companies seeking to develop battery materials within the South American nation using discounted Chilean lithium provided by top miner SQM.

Chilean authorities struck a deal in January 2018 with SQM that ended a long-running dispute over royalty payments and allowed the miner to boost production from Chile's Salar de Atacama, home to one-third of the world's supply of the ultralight battery metal.

In exchange, the agreement included a clause obligating the company to sell lithium at a reduced price to firms that use it to produce cathode or other battery components within Chile.

Sebastian Sichel, head of Chile's development agency Corfo, which will oversee the process, said the state would begin accepting proposals on April 5. The tender will close in November, and a winner is expected to be announced in early January 2020.

"What we're hoping for now is that we go beyond producing lithium carbonate and finally, to begin generating returns at a more local level," Sichel told reporters at Corfo's headquarters in Santiago.

Lithium is a key ingredient in the batteries that power cellphones, electric vehicles and other consumer goods. Chile is the world's no. 2 producer of lithium, but for now, primarily exports mostly unrefined lithium carbonate for use in battery production abroad.

In March, Corfo awarded contracts to Chile's Molymet, China's Sichuan Fulin Industrial Group and a joint venture between Samsung SDI Co Ltd and South Korea's POSCO to produce battery components in Chile using discounted lithium provided by SQM competitor Albemarle, for a total investment of $754 million.

Those projects, delayed by a dispute between Corfo and Albemarle over pricing, began to move forward again in January, Corfo said.

(By Fabian Cambero and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Photo from WikiMedia Commons: Salar de Atacama, the largest lithium salt flat in Chile.
Print
269
Previous Article Mega-mergers will bring short-lived glory if miners ignore innovation — opinion
Return
Next Article Watch the Video of the 2019 ALABC Annual Dinner

Theme picker

EVENT PHOTOS

View More Photos

ALABC Information

Contact ALABC

Australia-Latin America Business Council
Suite 14.02
Level 14, 14 Martin Place
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia

Phone 1300 0 25222 or +61 4 1264 3343
 

Get Social With ALABC