Chilean government awards lithium tender and leaves out SQM and Albemarle

Although the award of the controversial lithium tender promoted by the Chilean government was expected this Friday, the Ministry of Mining did not wait for the last deadline and announced the result of the process, in the midst of the political controversy that has aroused and the agreement with the new administration to seek improvements.

The Ministry notified the award of the bidding process to boost lithium production in the country, opting to deliver two of the five quotas that were offered, to the companies BYD Chile SpA and Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte. In this way, Albemarle Limitada, Cosayach Caliche, and the Chemical and Mining Society of Chile (SQM) fell by the wayside.

According to the government brief, each one was awarded a quota of 80,000 tons of tradable metallic lithium (LME), for which BYD Chile SpA presented an offer for 61 million dollars and Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte offered 60 million dollars. , respectively.

Both offers, they added, substantially higher than the rest of the offers received, “are the ones that best respond to the State’s interest in increasing competition in this market and obtaining the most satisfactory fee collection.” They detailed that the State will receive, without considering future payments for production, 121 million dollars for these two installments. “The allocated quotas represent 1.8% of the known lithium reserves in our country.” They indicated that the companies must obtain from the pertinent authorities -environmental and others- all the required permits.

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