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Chile Is Seeking Partner in Development of Lithium

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Chile's mining minister said the world's largest copper producer, Chilean National Copper, will decide which company to become its partner to develop the company's lithium assets in the first quarter of 2017.

Lithium is an important raw material for rechargeable batteries.The demand for lithium is expected to reach 2020 million tons compared to current 9.5 million tons. Most of the lithium produced in Australia and Chile,and the world's major lithium reserves in Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. Chile's Atacama Salt Lake reserves of 40 million tons of lithium carbonate. The Chilean government believes that it is time to seize the initiative and develope the lithium industry. Although the rest of the world are constantly discovering lithium ore resources, but the Chilean stakeholders believe that the Chilean lithium ore has a comparative advantage with higher brine concentration. At the beginning of 2016, the Chilean government asked the Chilean national copper company to investigate the potential reserves of lithium in Malikunga and the Petrara salt beach.

Chilean National Copper will look for a partner in the first quarter of 2017 to develop the Malikunga and Pedersales projects.

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