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Chile: Tianqui, pending FNE approval, strengthens position in lithium market

 |  May 21, 2018

The Chinese lithium giant Tianqi reached an agreement to buy 24% of the shares of the Chilean SQM now held by the Canadian Nutrien, which operates one of the largest deposits of lithium in the world. With this transaction Tianqi strengthens its position in the global lithium market.

“We are excited to be part of the present and future development of the lithium industry in Chile,” Tianqi Lithium president Vivian Wu said in the statement.

The National Economic Prosecutor’s Office of Chile (FNE) received a complaint in March requesting it investigate the scope of this acquisition. In the letter, it is stated that by being allied with another lithium giant, the American Albemarle in Australia, its purchase of a major share in SQM would mean controlling 70% of the global lithium supply.

The Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) operates the Salar de Atacama, in which the US company Albemarle also operates. Located in the north of Chile, it is considered the richest deposit of lithium in the world, due to its high concentrations, low level of impurities and exploitation of by-products such as potassium.

Full Content: Swiss Info

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