SANTIAGO(Scrap Monster): To develop more lithium reserves in the Chile, three bids has been submitted by six companies for Chilean government contracts. The companies include Posco and Daewoo of South Korea, Japan's Mitsui, Li Energy, Sociedad Legal Minera NX UNO de Peine, and Chilean mining firm SQM, says deputy mines minister Pablo Wagner.
Through operations in northern Chile, the New York listed company, SQM is already the world's biggest producer of lithium.
All bidders met the tender's technical and administrative requirements.The winner will be selected according to the economics of their offers, which will be opened September 24 according to Wagner.
To qualify, The companies must bid at least Chilean Peso 2.5 billion ($5.3 million) to be qualifies.
Under the Chilian constitution Lithium is protected as a strategic mineral. So production under regular mine concession is not possible.
The winning company will get the right to produce 100,000 mt of lithium through the special lithium operating contract over the next 20 years.
Chile already produces close to 40% of the world's lithium supply, but recently lost its first place position to Australia.Boosting global lithium production by around 15% from current levels of around 140,000 mt/year, the tender will lead to significant increase in lithium production over the coming years.
Before the constitutional restrictions came into force, the world's biggest producer of copper, Chile's state mining firm Codelco is studying investment in lithium production in concessions granted.
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