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Chile has initiated a process for investors interested in lithium and aims to have up to five new projects.

The Minister of Mining specified that if there is more than one interested party in an area, a bidding process will be carried out. On July 9th, information regarding which salares have attracted interest will be disclosed.

With the publication of the “Expression of Interest and Information Requirement,” the Ministry of Mining and InvestChile initiated today the process for private investors to declare their interest in exploring, exploiting, or processing specific salt flats (salares). Investors are asked to specify how much they intend to invest, what technology they will use, the timeframe for their operations, their origins, financial and stock market history, experience in the area, among other details.

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According to the Minister of Mining, interested firms can submit inquiries until May 17th, which will be answered within a maximum period of 10 days from their formulation.

“What we are initiating is a process to express interest,” stated Minister Williams, which allows for determining “where there is a possibility of developing projects.”

The minister emphasized that these expressions of interest only cover 26 salares, representing 18% of the salt flat surface, as protected basins entirely or partially by the state or in the process of being protected are excluded.

The minister clarified that if there is more than one interested party, a bidding process will be conducted, and if there is an impact on indigenous communities, the relevant consultation will be carried out, which on average takes six months, after which the respective Special Lithium Exploitation Contracts (CEOL) will be processed. Williams indicated that such contracts would be ready or in process by the first quarter of 2025.

The minister detailed that the CEOLs will establish aspects such as technology, contract duration, production quantity, state compensation (lease fees and royalties), among other issues.

In turn, the Minister of Economy, Nicolás Grau, stated that the goal is to have three to five new projects in the country by the end of President Boric’s government, excluding Codelco’s projects in the Salar de Atacama, which will contribute to doubling the country’s lithium production.

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Gabriel Micillo
Gabriel is a certified public accountant graduated from UNNE (National University of the Northeast, Argentina) and a software developer, currently pursuing a Master's degree in Finance and Economics. With nearly 8 years of experience working for accounting firms and brokerage firms. Concurrently, he has produced economic and financial reports on the current state of regional economies for the clients of the establishments where he has worked. Additionally, he assisted colleagues like Ignacio Teson in the drafting and editing of articles on similar topics in English language.
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