LatinNews Daily - 30 May 2023

In brief: Chile’s Codelco begins lithium talks with SQM

* Chile’s state-owned copper mining company Codelco has announced that it has formally begun talks with the private company Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM), the world’s second-largest lithium producer, with a view to establish a private-public partnership that integrates the Chilean state into the exploitation of the massive lithium reserves in the Atacama salt flats in the north of the country. The bulletin released by Codelco emphasised that these negotiations would remain confidential until they were concluded. This announcement follows last month’s long-awaited reveal of the government’s national lithium strategy by President Gabriel Boric, who declared that in order to achieve sustainable development, his government plans to establish a national lithium company and bring the country’s immensely valuable lithium reserves under state control, although he also promised that existing private contracts in the area would be respected.

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