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Mining Ministry and InvestChile promote lithium opportunities in Korea and Japan

7 June, 2024
  • Mining Minister Aurora Williams will have an intense business agenda organized by InvestChile in Tokyo and Seoul. It will focus on value addition and opportunities associated with the National Lithium Strategy.  


Mining Minister Aurora Williams will lead a tour next week of Korea and Japan, where she will promote the investment opportunities offered by the National Lithium Strategy and address cooperation in technological development for sustainable mining.  

The activities have been organized by InvestChile, together with the Chilean embassies in both countries. They include participation in seminars and forums, as well as meeting with local companies and authorities, with a special focus on companies that participate in the sector’s value addition chain.  

In speaking about the tour, the minister stated that «the requirement of critical minerals for the energy transition is a very important global issue. In that sense, Chile has a great opportunity by having the world’s largest reserves of copper and lithium, with 19% and 34% respectively. As a country, we are taking concrete steps to develop the lithium industry with a balanced strategy, where we have put public-private collaboration at the center of the development of all lithium projects in the country. At the same time, we have proposed to do it with social and environmental balance. This has generated huge interest among Chilean and international investors.» 

Agenda in Korea

The activities will begin in Seoul with participation in the “Korea-LAC Future Cooperation Forum”, where the minister will address the opportunities for cooperation between Korea and Latin America. She will then meet with companies producing lithium-based batteries.

The minister will subsequently lead a roundtable discussion with state agencies and representatives from companies that participate in the different stages of processing and producing products derived from the mineral.  

The delegation will also be made up of the Chilean ambassador to South Korea, Mr. Mathias Francke, and InvestChile representatives Catalina Pérez and Christoff Janse.

They will visit the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in the city of Daejeon, to learn about some of the Asian country’s advances in mining exploration, extraction and processing, before leaving for Tokyo.  

Agenda in Japan

In the Japanese capital, the minister will speak with senior executives of the country’s largest mining conglomerates, which are already operating in Chile. She will also meet with the minister of Foreign Affairs, Yoshifumi Tsuge, and the minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ken Saito, with whom she will sign a bilateral cooperation agreement.  

Minister Williams will then lead the seminar “Critical Minerals and Sustainable Development of the National Lithium Strategy in Chile”.

Among the issues to be addressed are technology for sustainable mining, the promotion of technologies for the smelting and refining of copper, and the processing of critical minerals.  

It should be noted that of the 97 companies from 12 countries that have maintained contact with InvestChile to participate in the different opportunities associated with the lithium industry, 26 are Korean and Japanese.  

In 2023, the agency managed more than 49 projects worth more than US$5.6 billion from Asian companies in various sectors, including energy, mining and infrastructure.