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Chilean lawmakers reject lithium expropriation

Chilean lawmakers rejected a bill that allows for the expropriation of private companies involved in lithium mining in the country, which would have left the door open for the state to take over companies such as Albemarle and SQM, the world’s first and second largest producer.

The lower house special committee said the bill was unconstitutional but leveled when it voted in favor of naming lithium as a resource of national interest. Metal, a key ingredient in EVS batteries, already has special status as it is considered state-owned.

Since taking office in 2018, Chilean President Sebastian Piñera has pledged to secure a combination of state and private investment to double the country’s output to 230,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year by 2023.

Chile produced 96,053 tons of lithium last year. Demand for electric vehicles and energy storage systems is expected to triple by 2025.

But it is necessary to offset the growing demand by reinforcing recycling. Tesla recently announced that it is developing a battery recycling system at its Gigafactory 1 plant that will “process scrap manufacturing of batteries and end-of-life batteries” to recover critical metals. Meanwhile, the American Manganese metals company, which has partnered with the Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute for battery recycling, recently patented a technology to efficiently extract all metals from the lithium-ion battery cathode, including lithium. , which is virtually not recycled today. Many of these end-of-life batteries still have plenty of power available, even if an electric vehicle battery is worn to the point where it is no longer safe to use in a car, it can still be perfectly good for another application. , such as home energy storage.

 

Source: The Oil

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