Australia’s Lithium Power International (ASX: LPI) confirmed on Friday it is engaged in talks with Chilean state-owned copper miner Codelco about a potential deal to jointly mine for the battery metal in the South American country.
Chile announced in April a new national lithium strategy, which calls for public-private partnerships for future lithium projects. Under the new model, the state takes a controlling stake in operations considered strategically significant, while private firms can retain control of projects in non-strategic areas.
Codelco has been tasked with negotiating for the government’s stake in Albemarle’s and SQM’s operations, the only two miners presently producing lithium in Chile.
Together with state miner Enami, Codelco is also in charge of signing up partners for new contracts. Their roles will be eventually undertaken by a national lithium company.
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