Chile’s SQM the worlds largest Lithium producer informed the Santiago stock exchange that together with its subsidiary SQM Potasio it has signed a contract with Minera Exar, Lithium Americas and Ganfeng.
SQM Potasio will sell its entire stake (50%) to Ganfeng in Exar, which owns Caucharí-Olaroz Lithium project in the Jujuy province of Argentina.
The shakeup in ownership comes as China has been aggressively promoting Electric Vehicles to help reduce air pollution
SQM’s CEO, Patricio de Solminihac, commented: “We expect the lithium market to continue its strong growth, and SQM wants to take advantage of this opportunity to develop projects on a large scale. For this reason, we will focus our efforts on our expansions in Chile, where we expect to almost quadruple our capacity in the coming years. We will also focus our efforts in Australia, where we see significant production potential given the size of the existing resources.”
He continued, “We believe that Ganfeng joining the Project is good news. Ganfeng is a well-known player in the industry, and will contribute positively to the Project. We maintain our good opinion about the Project, and will continue our involvement in it, not only because of the future payment involved with this transaction, but also to support LAC and Ganfeng with the continuity of the Project.”
The sale comes as SQM and Kidman Resources Joint Venture company Covalent Lithium is on track to deliver Battery Grade Lithium Hydroxide and Carbonate products to the market in 2021. Covalent Lithium is building an Integrated Mine at Southern Cross and Refinery at Kwinana Western Australia.