Welcome to english.eastday.com.Today is
Follow us @
Contribute to us!










Home >> auto >> Article
Chile's state copper company eyes more lithium production
From:Xinhua  |  2017-11-02 05:51

Video PlayerClose

SANTIAGO, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chile's state-run copper mining company Codelco could begin to mine lithium in northern Chile in six to seven years, Chilean Mining Minister Aurora Williams said on Wednesday.

At the start of the year, Codelco announced it was looking for a strategic partner to help exploit lithium reserves at the Maricunga and Pedernales salt fields in Atacama in north Chile's desert region.

Codelco President Oscar Landerretche said at least 10 foreign companies have expressed interest in partnering with the state firm.

The two salt fields "are in the very early stages of exploration and development," he said.

Lithium is a basic component in electric car batteries, a sector expected to boom in the coming years, and Chile's reserves are estimated to be the world's largest, holding some 14.3 million tons of the mineral and the deposits are also easily accessible.

Only five companies control nearly 90 percent of the global lithium supply, including Chile's SQM and U.S. transnational Albemarle.

The two companies, both mine the mineral in Atacama, together account for 43 percent of the world supply of lithium.