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Corfo calls specialized lithium producers to invest in Chile with stable supply and at a preferential price

  • Corfo calls on Specialized Producers from all over the world to develop a new industry in the country, profitable and exportable to the globe.

Corfo, the Chilean Economic Development Agency, calls on Specialized Producers from all over the world to show their interest in developing capacities in Chile to produce lithium derived materials with a preferential price and long-term supply, to develop a new industry in the country, profitable and exportable to the globe.

Corfo, as owner of the mining sites located in the Salar de Atacama, has a leasing contract with SQM, who will have 25% of their lithium production so that companies – either by themselves, associated with other companies, or by consortiums, joint ventures or any other type of
association-, develop a value-added industry in Chile.

Investors must manufacture metallic lithium or other new derivatives with greater sophistication, energy storage systems and other applications, such as batteries for scooters, bicycles, cars, buses, electronics, among others, developing a new market in the country with the largest lithium reserves worldwide and the lowest operating costs in the industry.

To give full transparency to the process around the preferential price that the selected companies will be able to access, Corfo has provided on its website a Protocol for the Implementation of the Preferred Price with the company SQM, who will supply lithium to the Specialized Producers.

It should be noted that the preferred price corresponds to the weighted average FOB (Freight on Board) price, computed over the lowest 20% prices from lithium products exported by SQM in the last six months, calculated monthly for each of the technical specifications, independently of the destination or volume.

The call was presented in April 2019 and will be terminated in March of the present year, being awarded in May 2020.

Those Specialized Producers that are selected by Corfo to work on adding value to lithium may also opt for the use of 10% of the public resources allocated to the Chilean Institute of Clean Technologies.

Participation in Chilean Institute of Clean Technologies

The contract between Corfo and SQM includes also annual contributions for research and development (R&D). Given that, Corfo has decided to contribute to the creation of the Chilean Institute of Clean Technologies in the Antofagasta Region, which contemplates a public financing of US $ 193 million in 10 years, through summoning local and international actors to present their proposals to create a consortium, to raise what will be the largest research and development centre of the country in the field.

“We hope that both, the call made to companies so they give added value to lithium, and the one made to develop the Institute, will attract great interest from local and international investors. The lithium industry has enormous potential and it is essential to incorporate high levels of technology. It is a great opportunity to innovate and create products and projects that can be exported all over the world,” adds Pablo Terrazas, Executive Vice President of Corfo.

Taking advantage of the natural wealth of the Atacama Desert, abundant in natural resources that are key to promote green growth and a global energy transition, the focus of this Institute will be marked by the needs of the industry, and will be aimed at catalysing development, scaling and adoption of industrial technological solutions in solar energy, sustainable mining and advanced materials of lithium and other minerals.

The winning proposal of this tender will capture and develop knowledge to the eaves of national and international R&D universities and institutes, who will provide new solutions in technologies made in Chile. Globally, it is a great opportunity for companies to know the local advantages and contribute to a more sustainable development.

The end of the applications for the development of the Chilean Institute of Clean Technologies will be on March 31, 2020, and the award of the proposal will be on May 15.