Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced that he will submit a bill to Congress to create the National Lithium Co., as part of a new national strategy for the extraction of this mineral. Chile has the largest lithium reserves in the world and it represents 30% of the world’s total lithium production, second behind Australia (47%).
When making the announcement, Boric explained that the national lithium strategy. The State of Chile, represented by the National Lithium Co., will participate in the entire production cycle, meaning the metal will be mined and refined in Chile. The public and private sectors will work collaboratively in exploration, exploitation and value-addition activities.
The new strategy seeks to give the state a greater presence in these activities. It will seek new extraction technologies that minimize the impact on the ecosystems of the Salar de Atacama (Atacama’s Salt Flat). In addition, a salt flats protection network will be established, fulfilling the commitment of 30% of protected ecosystems by 2030.
All activities will be carried out with the participation of the communities surrounding the mining operations. The first milestone in this process will begin with a direct conversation between the Council of People from Atacama and Boric, since Atacama is one of the areas with the greatest potential and global competitiveness for lithium extraction.
Boric emphasized that Chile will continue to respect the contracts in force. The private lease agreement for an important part of the Salar de Atacama will expire in 2030, so the National Copper Co. (Codelco) “will be our representative in front of to the companies that are currently in the salt flat to have State participation before the expiration of the contracts,” said the Chilean president.