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Published on March 12th, 2018 | by James Ayre


Chile’s Corfo: $754 Million In New Lithium Industry Investments Approved

March 12th, 2018 by  

Around $754 million in new lithium industry investments have been approved by the development agency of Chile, Corfo, as revealed in an announcement from the authority.

The new investments are coming from a number of different firms — spread out across the world, including some based out of Chile itself, China, and South Korea, reportedly.

The new investments were approved via a competitive bidding process that saw inputs from a number of different regions and sectors. Among the companies approved to make investments were the Chile-based firm Molymet and the China-based joint-venture Sichuan Fulin Industrial Group (which is itself a joint venture between involving the South Korean firms Samsung SDI Co and POSCO).

The Reuters coverage provides more: “Corfo said that within 2 years the companies would be ready to produce about 58,000 tonnes of cathode per year, the main material in lithium batteries.”

“The Atacama salt flat is part of the so-called ‘lithium triangle’ in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, a region containing a large portion of the world’s lithium reserves. Investment and output have increased in recent years as demand for electric vehicles surges.

“Also on Friday, the mining ministry said in a statement state-run miner Codelco had signed a contract to mine lithium from the Maricunga deposit, without giving details on potential partners or investments. It would be the first foray into lithium for the world’s top copper producer. Corfo said in January it had struck a deal with miner SQM that would allow Codelco to begin lithium development in Maricunga.”

This is more news to suggest that near-term lithium supply constraints aren’t anything like as much of an issue as they are sometimes presented as being. That said, the firms that lock up long-term supply contracts will clearly have an advantage.

On that note, see: Tesla Eyeing Chile’s Lithium Reserves, In Talks With SQM.

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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