Essential information

Ongoing leadership
Sophisticated talent
Entrepreneural Enviroment
A Latin American hub

Lithium: Chilean President announces US$233 million Chinese investment in Mejillones

16 October, 2023
  • The project aims to promote investment and support the production of added-value lithium products in Chile, as well as incentivizing technological development and the use of non-metallic minerals.

On Monday afternoon, Chilean President Gabriel Boric, together with the Minister of Economy, Nicolás Grau, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto Van Klaveren, met with Chinese investment company Tsingshan Holding Group in Beijing as part of ChileWeek China 2023.

On this occasion, President Boric announced a US$233 million investment project that will be developed from 2025 in Chile’s Antofagasta Region. Additional investment may also be required to develop infrastructure.

This project will create an estimated total of 668 new jobs once it reaches its maximum production capacity (120,000 tons/year), and at least 90% of project employees will be Chilean.

The investment—proposed by Chinese company Yongqing Technology Co., Ltd., which forms part of the Tsingshan Holding Group—was selected through a call by Chilean economic development agency CORFO for specialized lithium producers to develop added-value initiatives in Chile.

In that regard, President Boric noted that as a country, «we’re not going to limit ourselves solely to extracting minerals. Rather, we’re going to create value chains and promote transfer of knowledge, because one of the commitments that the company has made is to provide exchange programs for Chilean professionals to travel to China and receive training, which will support the development of this industry.»

Added value

«This is an extremely important announcement because it demonstrates concrete progress on Chile’s National Lithium Strategy, which not only aims to increase our country’s production capacity through various mechanisms, but also to generate higher added value. Here, we’re talking about almost 700 jobs in the Antofagasta Region, and this project is expected to be operational before the end of our administration. So we’re very happy, it’s a major announcement which we believe is in line with the core objectives of the National Lithium Strategy,» highlighted Minister Grau.

Yongqing Technology Co., Ltd. will join another Chinese company,  BYD Chile SpA, which obtained specialized producer status in April 2023 under the same call for projects in order to develop its “BYD Chile Lithium Cathode Plant” project.

BYD’s cathode production project requires an investment of US$290 million and will create 490 direct and indirect jobs in the operation phase, 90% of which will be locally hired employees.