The Initiative to Industrialize Lithium in Chile

Mario Honrubiaengineersminingmining industryEnergy

Chile has the biggest lithium reserve in the world. Taking this into consideration, CORFO and Albemarle signed an agreement at the end of 2016 that establishes that the 25% of the lithium produced by the company must be offered to enterprises interested in the fabrication of products with a big added value in the national territory. The objective is to develop an industry related to the material and to cover the demand of hybrid and electric vehicles. As a result of this, CORFO has started an initiative to industrialize lithium in Chile and opened a call to convert the country into a relevant global actor with regard to production, commercialization, generation of added value and production chaining of the lithium.

The Demand to Industrialize Lithium in Chile

In order to come to an agreement with the Chemical and Mining Society of Chile (SQM), CORFO has established an indispensable requirement. Such as they did in the agreement with Albemarle, SQM must propose a preferential price to assign a 25% of their production of lithium to Chilean enterprises that generate an important added value to the mineral. With this measure, it will strengthen the call from Chile to the worldwide market to attract to the country companies that produce different components made with lithium, allowing them to have a privileged access to lithium products of high quality with an attractive price and a long-term supply. Industrialize Lithium

The Current Call

The call of CORFO and InveChile has five companies competing today in the process of nomination to industrialize the lithium in Chile. These companies are  TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom (Russia); Sichuan Fulin Industrial Group Co. Ltd., Gansu Daxiang Energy Technology Co Ltd., Shenzhen Matel Tech.Co. Ltd. y Jiangmen Kanhoo Industry Co. Ltd. (China); Molymet (Chile); y SAMSUNG SDI Co. Ltd. y POSCO (Korea). The proposals of these six companies are based on the metallic lithium and material of lithium cathode for batteries of electric cars.

What Comes for the Future

If the agreement between CORFO and SQM comes to fruition, there is a high possibility that a new call in 2018 will be opened to attract new enterprises that give added value to the mineral, following the outlines that CORFO and InvestChile have developed. Did you know any company that should apply to this new call? We want to know your opinion! Join our engineering community here