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Australian lithium producers hit by prospect of renewed Chilean supply

Australian lithium producers hit by prospect of renewed Chilean supply

lithium producers in australia chilean supply

With the new year came the news of reconciliation between the world’s largest lithium producer, Sociedad Química y Minera (SQM), and Chilean government agency, CORFO, paving the way for a substantial increase in demand. Rival suppliers’ shares took a battering in the wake, but will Australian miners lose out in the long run?

The past few years for Chile’s lithium brines have been rather sedate. Amid the considerable excitement that the impending new energy revolution has created, Chile has moved somewhat sluggishly; the erstwhile top producer of the battery metal has only increased production quotas at a modest level, constrained by old legislation that defines lithium as a ‘strategic mineral’, while production volumes have soared in other regions to take advantage of China’s considerable – and growing – appetite for new energy vehicles.

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