Chilean president Gabriel Boric has reportedly appointed Aurora Williams as the new mining minister for the country.
Williams, according to Reuters, was placed after a reshuffle of cabinet members as the government seeks to advance key reforms, and replaces Marcela Hernando. She last served in the same seat from 2014-2018 under previous president Michelle Bachelet.
“I invite the ministers to consolidate our national lithium policy and to continue to maintain Chile’s global mining leadership,” Boric said in a ceremony, per the Reuters report.
“I would have liked this cabinet change to take place in a different political climate.”
Chile’s mining sector is seeing a dramatic overhaul since the government announced a plan in April to boost state control on the country’s vast lithium reserves, seen as key to the transition away from fossil fuels. While Boric has reportedly suffered major legislative defeats in Congress, his lithium reform largely does not require legislative approval.
Talks with private lithium miners are set to be led by state miner Codelco.
Codelco, meanwhile, has faced declining copper output and has already warned this year’s output should be lower than expected following a series of weather and operational problems.