Chile signs lithium production partnership agreement with mining giant SQM to increase output at the Salar de Atacama desert. The accord awards Chile a majority stake in SQM which has won rights to continue extracting lithium for 30 years. La Jornada in Mexico reports. Chile hopes the agreement will result in a doubling of the quantity produced at its massive deposits in the Atacama Desert. “This is an unprecedented milestone in the Chilean mining industry, and a concrete step forward to achieve fair and sustainable development,” said President Gabriel Boric on national television.
The lithium production partnership was signed by Coldelco, a state-owned Chilean company and the largest copper producer in the world. Both Coldelco and SQM agreed to terms lasting through 2060. Coldelco said the partnership is “without precedent” in the Chilean mining industry and “assures the continual” lithium production and “takes advantage of the opportunities created by intense use of copper and lithium worldwide.”
“Codelco’s early entry into the Salar de Atacama will allow it to be involved in all stages of evaluation, development, engineering, feasibility and permitting of the Salar Futuro Project with the necessary anticipation to ensure operational continuity,” Coldelco said in a release.
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