Economy & Business - June 2024


CHILE | Codelco and SQM sign lithium deal. On 31 May Chile’s state-owned copper mining company Codelco and the private Chilean company Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA (SQM), the world’s second largest lithium producer, signed the partnership agreement announced back in December 2023 to develop lithium in the Atacama salt flats in the north of the country from 2025 to 2060. The agreement provides for a joint venture, comprising Codelco through its subsidiary Minera Tarar, and SQM through SQM Salar, with the Chilean state holding the majority stake (50% plus one share). The partnership will have two periods of operation. The first runs from the date it becomes effective until 31 December 2030, during which SQM will oversee general management. The second runs from 1 January 2031 to 31 December 2060, during which Codelco will oversee general management. According to the statement announcing the signature, the aim is to “achieve a total additional production of 300,000 tonnes (t) of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2025-2030, while a production of 280,000-300,000t of LCE annually has been defined for 2031-2060”.

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