In his first interview with international media since the government announced plans for state control of the metal key for electric vehicle batteries, Economy Minister Nicolas Grau exclusively revealed to Reuters that the country will commence discussions with SQM over its operations in the Atacama. Chile aims to convince the world’s No. 2 lithium mining company to sign onto a state-led public-private model, while SQM said it would need to invest an additional $2 billion under the new strategy.
Chile to start lithium talks with SQM by mid-year to boost state control
Albemarle and Santiago-based SQM are the only two lithium producers in Chile and operate in the Atacama salt flat, which has 90% of the Andean country’s lithium reserves. Stocks for both companies plummeted on Friday following President Gabriel Boric’s nationalization announcement. At closing on Monday, SQM’s stock had recovered 6.1% while Albemarle had bounced back 5.9%.