The South American country has the world’s largest reserves of the battery raw material.
Chile plans to nationalize its lithium industry to boost the economy and environmental protection. Indigenous and surrounding communities should also get more involved in the process. That’s according to Reuters news agency, citing a speech by President Gabriel Boric on Thursday. The Latin American country has the world’s largest reserves of the critical raw material, which is needed primarily for battery production, and is the second-largest lithium producer after Australia.
State-owned copper company Codelco is expected to play a major role in the planning, in addition state-owned mining company Enami will be involved. They will be tasked, among other things, with the exploration of areas and the development of environmentally friendly mining methods.
The exclusive issuing of future lithium contracts under state control would pose challenges for manufacturers of electric vehicles, Reuters says. According to analysts, this could lead to the shift of investments to other countries such as Australia. However, approval from Congress is still pending, which in the past has put the brakes on many of Boric’s proposals, the news agency says. The president plans to present his plans in detail on Friday.