The Chilean government wants to tighten control over the mining of the raw material lithium, which is important for e-cars. All private companies that wanted to mine lithium in Chile would have to work with the state in the future, announced President Gabriel Boric at the presentation of the national lithium strategy on Friday night (local time).

In new joint ventures, private companies could have a maximum share of 49.9 percent. “Chile has one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. We cannot afford not to take advantage of it,” said the head of state.

Private companies SQM and Abemarle are currently mining lithium in Chile’s only active mining district, Salar de Atacama. Their contracts expire in 2030 and 2043. However, the government is aiming to renegotiate the contracts before they expire and to take control of the mining.

Chile has one of the largest lithium reserves in the world and was second only to Australia in production last year. Lithium is required, among other things, in the construction of electric vehicles. The ions from the alkali metal salts are essential for transporting the electrical charge in most modern high-performance rechargeable batteries. According to a study, the demand for lithium could increase fivefold in the next 35 years.

Rede Boric