The Government announced that BYD Chile SpA and Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte SA will be the companies that were awarded the lithium tender in Chile.
According to what was indicated by the Ministry of MiningBoth participating firms were notified after they submitted a similar offer.
In the case of BYD Chile SpA, the representatives offered US $ 61 million, while Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte SA US $ 60 million.
Each of the firms will have a quota of 80,000 tons of marketable metallic lithium (LME), added the portfolio
Although the development consisted of the delivery of five installments, finally only two will be delivered.
“Both offers, Substantially higher than the rest of the offers received, they are the ones that best respond to the State’s interest in increasing competition in this market and obtaining the most satisfactory collection by quota. The State will receive, without considering future production payments, US $ 121 million for these two installments, “the ministry said in a statement.
Likewise, the authorities indicated that “The national and international call sought to increase the production of this mineral in Chile, thus meeting the growing world demand generated by the development, among others, of electromobility. This, in a context in which despite having the world’s largest lithium reserves, the country has been losing market share due to the absence of new projects. “
The Executive backed the process, noting that “it will allow the local lithium industry to increase its dynamism so that Chile can regain its position on the world scene. The awarded quotas, for a total of 160,000 tons of LME, represent 1.8% of known lithium reserves in our country “.
Likewise, companies must, according to the Government, before the exploration and production stage “Obtain all the required permits from the relevant environmental and other authorities, as well as generating the necessary spaces for dialogue to ensure that projects are developed in harmony with local communities, caring for the environment and respecting our current legislation “.
“The government reaffirms its willingness to set up a National Lithium Board to draw up a development strategy for this industry, with a long-term view of the state,” added the ministry.
PRESIDENT PIÑERA: “EITHER WE LEAVE THE LITHIUM UNDER THE GROUND OR WE USE IT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHILEANS”
The process was marked by an intense debate prior to the information of the companies, where the Executive said that lithium should be used to promote its production and add value to it.
It was his own President Piñera who remarked on the need to go ahead with the tender, remarking that “either we leave it underground or we use it for the benefit of the Chileans.”
According to what was indicated by the President, the decision to open a contest, “which was transparent and supported by the Comptroller’s Office”, occurred after Chile ceased to be the main producer of the material despite having 40% of world reserves.
“We were the first country in the world to produce it and today we are not. We decided to implement a plan to use lithium, which is the essential mineral for the world to come.”he added.
Piñera said that the process is essential “seeing that production was stagnant”, arguing that Australia has already surpassed Chile in the area, while neighboring nations such as Argentina and Bolivia have already entered the work of the product.
Likewise, the President emphasized that the proposals of the Executive were expressed to the future government of President Gabriel Boric, stating that “Lithium protects us all.”
“The program is not only about production, but about giving value to lithium”added.
CAMERA DECLARED ADMISSIBLE PROJECTS THAT SEEK TO STOP THE INSTANCE
For its part, Chamber of Deputies and Deputies declared admissible on Tuesday the projects seeking stop the sale of part of the reserves.
According to the vote in the Chamber, one of the instances was approved by 48 votes, with 31 against and three abstentions. For its part, the other had 50 votes in support, 32 against and three abstentions.
Remember that the initiatives, supported by the Communist Party and Christian Democracy in their respective banks, they point to the sale of 4% of the mineral reserves that the Government is leading.
Daniel Núñez, a PC deputy, pointed out after the vote that “We continue to fight for the defense of our natural resources.”
THE DETAIL OF THE PROJECTS
In charge of the Christian Democracy (DC), the Socialist Party (PS), the Communist Party (PC) and the Social Green Regionalist Federation (FRVS), the instances are aimed at preventing the current Government of President Sebastián Piñera from completing the sale of part of the metal reserve to foreign entities.
Gabriel Ascencio, head of the bench of the deputies and deputies DC, said that “What we seek is to prohibit the State from entering into administrative concessions or special operating contracts with private persons or companies” within three months of the term of a government.
For her part, Deputy PC, Karol Cariola, emphasized that “This tender is not only economically damaging for Chile, the environmental impact has not been determined, it occurs at an inopportune moment when there is a change of government and in the middle of the process of a new Constitution and it does not incorporate the community. “
The PC Bank Law project that suspends the Piñera Lithium Bidding process is declared admissible. We continue fighting for the defense of our natural resources. pic.twitter.com/rhUw0tPHWu
— Daniel Nuñez A. (@daniel_nunez_a) January 11, 2022
However, the deputy Esteban Vasquez (FRVS), who is also president of the Mining Commission of the Lower House, hinted at a possible ‘popular uprising’ in the north in case the idea comes to fruition.
“There are substantive issues that we will promote from the world of citizenship. If this tender is carried out, again the north will have to rise up, as has happened in many situations, to defend what seems fair to us.”, He said.