Chile’s new lithium policy a boon for other producers – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 3, 2023)

A decision by the world No. 2 lithium producer Chile to tighten control over the key battery metal sector has left many in the industry wondering what the announced state-led public-private model will look like and who, if anyone, will benefit from it.

The lack of specifics on how much ownership the government will demand from companies and the pushback President Gabriel Boric could face when trying to create a national lithium company, add to the uncertainties Chile’s new policy has created.

For Joe Lowry, known in mining circles as “Mr. Lithium” due to its decades of experience in the sector, says that the lack of specifics in Chile’s policy could be a boon to other producing countries, with Canada being in a particularly advantageous place.

According to Mining Intelligence, Canada currently has nearly 40 lithium projects in different stages of development, but only two operating mines, Sayona Mining’s (ASX: SYA) North American Lithium (NAL) in Quebec and Sinomine Resource Group’s Tanco mine, in Manitoba. The latter also produces cesium and tantalum. NAL, in which Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ:PLL) has a 25% stake, restarted production only in March while the Tanco mine reopened in December.

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