Tianqi Lithium has announced that they will appoint 3 members to the board of Chile-based SQM as part of the recent acquisition of a 24% of SQM’s shares earlier this year.
The names of the official board members will be disclosed in April 2019, with the Chinese based Lithium producer, stating that the individuals selected will be “fair” and “responsible towards shareholders”.
Tianqi’s comments come a few months after concerns were raised by Chile’s antitrust regulators but was finally approved on the basis that Tianqi could not allow any of its employees or executives to become directors of SQM. The rules also stated that Tianqi was not entitled to any Lithium produced by SQM, however, Tianqi was able to secure 3 board seats our of a total 8 board members.
Many experts remain concerned that the take over is a strategic move by China to control pricing of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. As the world becomes more reliant of lithium battery powered electronics and vehicles, the need to maintain a competitive market will be a critical factor for consumer nations such as the United States.