MADRID, 21 (EUROPA PRESS)
The lithium producer Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) fell 12.3% this Friday on the stock market after learning of the Chilean Government’s plan to nationalize lithium production through, among other things, the creation of a national company of lithium that participates in the entire production process of this mineral.
Thus, SQM’s shares have fallen by more than 12%, to a price of $68.25 (62.19) at 12:10 local time (6:10 p.m. in Spain) of this Friday’s session. In turn, the IPSA, Chile’s main stock index, fell more than 2.38%.
The national lithium plan was presented on Thursday night by the Chilean president, Gabriel Boric, and aims to add value and “complicate” the country’s economy.
The Government’s strategy involves promoting the creation of value-added lithium products in the Chilean productive system, while promoting the extraction and preservation of the mineral, with the aim of advancing “durable, diverse and more complex” of the economy, in the words of the Chilean president during the presentation of the five axes of the plan.
STATE PARTICIPATION AND TECHNOLOGIES WITHOUT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
In addition to this axis, the Executive’s plan includes four other action points that are state participation in the entire production cycle of this mineral (for which it is intended to create a state lithium company), public-private collaboration, work together with the communities close to the lithium salt flats and the use of new extraction technologies that minimize the environmental impact of this process.
On this last point, the Chilean Economy Minister, Nicolás Grau, has defended the Government’s commitment to protecting the environment, so the lithium strategy is part of the “broader” fight to stop the climate crisis. “It is necessary to move from current technology, which unbalances the salt flats, to direct extraction, which only removes lithium and minimizes the impact on ecosystems,” he explained.
Along the same lines, the president of Chile spoke on Thursday night, who has argued that the country’s challenge is to become the main lithium producer in the world and increase national wealth, while protecting the biodiversity of the ecosystem .
“Along with green hydrogen, lithium is the best opportunity we have to move towards a sustainable economy. We cannot afford to waste this opportunity”, Boric stated.
Currently, Chile represents 30% of the production of the global market, and from the Government they consider that the country has enormous potential, since there are more than 60 salt flats and saline lagoons that can be further exploited, always maintaining the limit between the extractive capacity and environmental care.