INTERVIEW: Lithium tightness to endure while Chile sets regulatory framework, says Wealth Minerals exec

The current tightness in the lithium market is set to remain for up to a decade due to delays in securing the appropriate regulatory framework in Chile, a senior executive at Canada-based junior mining firm Wealth Minerals said.

Demand for lithium has soared in recent months following a boost in demand for the batteries used in electric vehicles. But Chile, which has the world’s second-largest lithium reserves, currently places the material in the same category as uranium and is yet to approve rules governing investment, according to Wealth Minerals executive director Marcelo Awad. “The supply side of the equation will catch up but I think the market will continue [to be] in deficit or very tight for the next seven to ten years before the supply side can catch demand. Why? Because Chile is running behind, because the government has taken so long to release the regulatory framework for investors,” he told Metal Bulletin in an interview. A draft of the regulatory framework is expected to be sent to the state comptroller by early January, after which it typically takes around two months to be signed into law....


Andrea Hotter

January 04, 2018

16:45 GMT

New York