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Companies from China, Russia, South Korea, Belgium and Chile go on to second stage of lithium bid

Three of the seven pre-selected companies are from China while the other four are from Russia, Belgium, Chile and South Korea.


The list of the seven companies that will go on to the second stage of the lithium industrialization project was announced this morning by the Lithium Tender Evaluation Commission.

Following the great interest shown in the tender, led by InvestChile and the Economic Development Agency (CORFO), which attracted a total of 12 offers from companies that manufacture lithium products, the Commission spent 30 days examining their proposals and selected the seven companies that now have the first option to participate in Chile’s lithium industrialization plan.

The list is as follows:

1.- Sichuam Fulin Industrial Group Co. Ltd., China

2.- Jiangmen Kanhoo Industry Co. Ltd., China

3.- Gansu Daxiang Energy Technology Co. Ltd., China

4.- TVEL Fuel Company (Rosatom), Russia

5.- Umicore, Belgium

6.- Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., South Korea

7.- Molymet, Chile.

These seven companies will now have 90 days in which to prepare and present an “Investment Project of Specialized Producers of Lithium in Chile”. This investment plan must be drawn up in accordance with the specific norms established for the tender’s Improvement Stage within the period it indicates, which is not expected to go beyond 1 December 2017.

Referring to the interest shown by these important lithium companies in investing in Chile, the director of InvestChile, Carlos Álvarez, noted that “our country has an asset that is of great interest to foreign investors and consolidates Chile’s overseas image as offering security based on solid institutions and an open economy.”


Importance of the process

The opportunity to industrialize lithium in Chile arose from an agreement between CORFO and Albemarle (ex-Rockwood) under which 25% of output can be acquired at extremely competitive prices for use in the manufacture of value-added products.

Following the agreement, InvestChile and CORFO implemented promotional activities in Chile and overseas, including a roadshow in Frankfurt that was attended by most of the companies that expressed interest in participating in this process which will add value to Chilean lithium.

Over the past decade, the lithium industry has experienced explosive growth, related principally to the technology sector, lithium batteries, electro mobility and the development of non-conventional renewable energies, particularly solar and wind.

The tender process will not only help to foster the development of a cluster related to lithium but also facilitate the implementation of investments in technology, infrastructure and highly specialized human capital for the production of goods that are in high international demand.