Korean companies invest in Chilean lithium
Korean companies invest in Chilean lithium
  • Korea IT Times
  • 승인 2010.12.13 14:53
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Korean companies have acquired a 30 percent share in the mining area at Atacama Salt Lake in Chile, which produces the largest amount of lithium in the world. This is expected to give Korea an advantage in a variety of markets, since lithium is a key material in batteries used in a wide variety of high-tech devices.

Samsung C&T President Chi Sung-ha and Korea Resources Corporation (KORUS) CEO Kim Shin-jong signed an investment contract with the Errazuriz Group on November 15 in Santiago, Chile for a combined share of 30 percent.

Samsung will acquire an 18% share and KORUS a 12% share of the Special Purpose Company (SPC) founded to develop the mine, and together will invest $190 million dollars to build the necessary infrastructure.

Facilities for extracting, evaporating and purifying salt water at the west end of the lake will be completed in 2011. These will be followed by a factory that can produce up to 20,000 tons of lithium carbonate a year by 2013.

"We are planning to expand facilities to produce up to 40,000 tons of lithium," said officials from Samsung C&T.

Atacama Salt Lake is located 1,200 kilometers from Santiago and 2,300 meters above sea level. The size of the mining area the Errazuriz Group owns is approximately 700 square kilometers, more than 100 kilometers larger than the city of Seoul.

The Atacama Salt Lake region has some of the highest quality deposits in the world, and produces about 45% of the world's lithium.

source: APEC-VC Korea

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