SQM and Codelco begin talks over lithium partnership in Chile – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 29, 2023)


SQM (NYSE: SQM), the world’s second largest lithium producer, and Chile’s state-owned copper miner Codelco, have formally begun talks aimed at setting up a public-private partnership to extract the battery metal in the Atacama salt flat.

The negotiations between the firms are part of the new national lithium strategy President Gabriel Boric announced in April. The plan identifies the Salar de Atacama as a strategic asset because it contains the country’s largest known lithium resources as well as the only active operations.

SQM’s contract with Chile’s development agency Corfo, owner of the assets in the Antofagasta region salt flat, expires in 2030. The contract for the world’s no.1 lithium producer, Albemarle (NYSE: ALB), which is the only other active lithium miner in the Atacama, runs out in 2043.

SQM CEO Ricardo Ramos said the company had “a common vision” with Codelco in the development of salt flats, which is increasing lithium production from the area.

For the rest of this article: https://www.mining.com/sqm-and-codelco-kick-off-talks-over-lithium-partnership/