The world's top lithium miner Albermale confirmed plans to open the La Negra III and IV lithium processing plants in Chile by next year, boosting the firm’s production capacity in the country to 85,000 tonnes. The company has filed a proposal for a network to monitor water flows beneath the Salar de Atacama. A team from Germany's Volkswagen visited Atacama last month to scope out the social and environmental impact of mining operations there.
Copper production in 2019 in Chile, the world’s no. 1 producer of the metal, dropped by 44,000 tonnes compared to 2018, amid a perfect storm of falling ore grades at the largest deposits, water scarcity and operational issues. Cochilco, the country’s copper commission, said Codelco, the state-owned giant, was the miner most affected by ageing mines as its production declined by 5.6% in 2019 by about 100,000 tonnes.
Chile's economy is expected to grow just 0.80% in the first quarter of 2019, a monthly poll of analysts showed on Tuesday, as the effects of more than two months of unrest in the country, the world's top copper miner, continue to linger. Early indicators have nonetheless shown the economy to be more resilient than initially anticipated following the most violent protests since Chile's return to democracy in 1990.