Chile will open a tender for the exploration and production of 400,000 tonnes of lithium in an effort to reclaim market share and meet growing demand for the metal used in electric vehicles and high-tech devices.
The copper-producing nation, which holds the world’s largest known lithium reserves, said is preparing bidding rules available to local and foreign firms for five quotas of 80,000 tonnes each.
Companies that secure permits will have seven years, extendable for another two, to explore and develop projects, followed by 20 years of production, the Mining Ministry said in a statement.
Chile, which until 2018 was the world’s top lithium producer, lost its crown to Australia and is about to descend further as China is projected to become the second largest producer of the metal by the end of the decade.
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