Albemarle Corp accuses Chilean regulator over ‘unjust’ withholding of Atacama study

Albemarle Corp has accused a Chilean regulator of “unjust” discrimination for refusing to make public a key report on the impact of mining on the Atacama salt flat, according to court filings. Albemarle in July 2020 asked to see the publicly funded report but regulator Corfo rejected the request after Chilean miner SQM objected on grounds it contained confidential information. A government watchdog upheld the decision. Both Albemarle and SQM contributed data to the report. However, while SQM’s contract with the government allows it to review and comment on the study, Albemarle’s agreement does not.

SQM’s lithium sales volumes increased 50% in the last quarter of 2020

Chilean miner SQM posted record lithium sales in the last quarter of 2020, although floundering prices for the ultralight metal continued to weigh on the company's profits. SQM said its lithium sales volumes in the fourth quarter jumped 50% from the previous quarter, hitting a three-month record of more than 25,000 tonnes. However, prices stagnated at $5,300 per tonne.

Ibereólica plans 1.17 GW hybrid solar-wind complex in Chile

Spanish renewable energy company Ibereólica has submitted a proposal to build a 1.17 GW hybrid wind-solar power plant to Chile's environmental evaluation service SEA. The ERNC Antofagasta project, which is being planned by Ibereólica ERNC Antofagasta, a special purpose vehicle company owned by Ibereólica, will consist of a 496 MW wind farm and a 675 MW solar PV plant.

Chile’s Codelco to incorporate teleworking permanently

Chile's state-owned Codelco said it would permanently incorporate teleworking into its shift schedule after months of experimenting with the model during the coronavirus pandemic. The company has sent approximately 2,700 employees home to work remotely. The company said it would roll out a hybrid model for some of its employees, beginning in the small Gabriel Mistral division and then to its flagship El Teniente mine and beyond.

Lithium Chile reports assay results from exploration programme in Salar de Laguna Blanca

Lithium Chile Inc. reported assay results from its recently completed follow-up exploration program on its Salar de Laguna Blanca and completion of the reconnaissance TEM geophysical survey at Salar de Los Morros, Chile. Initial assays from surface brine samples in the follow up grid area assayed 1,035 to 1,230 mg/l lithium plus 13,500 to 15,200 mg/l potassium. The company also reported that its reconnaissance TEM geophysical survey at its Los Morros lithium property was completed February 25 with results expected mid-March.

More than 70 economic guilds call for a state of emergency in Biobío and La Araucanía due to violence

75 trade unions from different economic sectors called for a state of emergency in part of the regions of Biobío and La Araucanía, amid the series of violent incidents that have occurred in the area in recent months. The associations warn that there is an absence of the rule of law in the southern macro-zone that is preventing thousands of families from being able to work and live in peace.

Lithium Chile closes its $3.5 mn financing

Lithium Chile Inc. has closed its fully subscribed previously announced private placement of units of the Company for gross proceeds of $3.5 million and the 15% option was taken up for gross proceeds to the company of approximately $4.02 million. Each Unit is comprised of one common share of Lithium Chile and one common share purchase warrant.

Antofagasta plc surpasses $18 billion market value thanks to copper

London-listed Antofagasta plc surpassed $18 billion in market value, more than doubling its value in one year. This increase is mainly due to the boom in copper prices on international markets. A year ago, the firm's papers traded on the London Stock Exchange at £803 (about $1,130), as of Tuesday 23 February they reached £1,838, about $2,600 per paper, a rise of 128% in twelve months.

AES Gener to sell its 50% stake in Guacolda Energía to reduce its carbon portfolio

Latin American power utility AES Gener SA has reached a deal that will see the company part with its stake in its 764-MW coal-fired plant in Chile as it looks to reduce the carbon intensity of its portfolio. AES Gener announced it has agreed to sell its interest of 50% plus one share in Guacolda Energia SpA to industrial electrical technologies provider WEG Group, the current co-owner of Guacolda. The plant accounted for 26% of the seller's coal-fired capacity.