ENAMI plans first lithium project

Chile’s state mining firm ENAMI said it aims to start construction on its first lithium project in the country by 2028, reported Reuters. The project is part of the government’s push to boost its role in production of the battery metal.

ENAMI has launched a search for a private partner to offer financial backing or operational support for the project at three salt flats known as the Salares Altoandinos in the Atacama region. Applicants must register by June 7, kicking off a selection process that ENAMI intends to complete next March.

Only Chile’s SQM and U.S.-based Albemarle currently produce lithium in Chile. ENAMI expects to eventually produce about 60,000 metric tons of lithium a year at Altoandinos.

ENAMI said it will take into account the amount of lithium available and investment needed to determine the size of the stake it takes in the project, which spans nearly 30,000 hectares of salt flats known as Aguilar, La Isla and Grande.

In April, the state miner received proposals from 30 firms including French lithium company Eramet, Rio Tinto, and LG Energy to pilot test extraction technology. It will choose five to seven with the aim of using successful technology for future production.

Chile is the world’s second largest producer of lithium.

Source: Reuters

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