by Victor Farinelli
Faced with the prospect that 30 years from now its copper deposits will not produce the same as they are producing now, Chile is seeking alternatives to one of the pillars of its economy. Sale of ore is the principal force behind the Chilean GDP and accounts for more than half the country’s exports.
Among the several options, one in particular has the potential of replacing copper in its importance in the Chilean economy: the mining of lithium. The few reserves of lithium already being exploited in Chile represent 41 percent of world production of the mineral and the demand is growing exponentially.
Beyond that, the country is part of the region termed the Lithium Triangle, a name given the triple border between Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, which accounts for close to 85 percent of the known reserves of the material. (more…)