Chile launches tender for 400 000-ton lithium mining contract
With one of the world’s largest lithium reserves, Chile is also the second-biggest producer after Australia. By 2025, the South American country plans to double its production. To meet the worldwide demand for battery production, Chile’s Mining Minister announced the launch of a tender to exploit 400 000 tons of lithium over the next twenty years.
With the switch to electric cars and the growing demand for electronic goods, the need for batteries is growing exponentially. And so does the demand for lithium, as the alkali metal is a crucial component of modern batteries.
400 000 tons
Chile will launch a call for tender on the exploitation of its lithium resources, of which there are plenty as the country has one of the world’s largest reserves (29%). However, some worry about the environmental cost of mined resources, as most of it is to be found under the Atacama desert floor. Brine from beneath is pumped up to evaporation ponds, which relieves the moisture from it.
Chile’s international call for tender will concern a total of 400 000 tons of lithium, divided into five quotas of 80 000 tons each. Exploration permits will be granted for seven years, renewable for a further two. This call for tender comes to back up the country’s ambitious plan to double lithium production by 2025.