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24-10-2012  CHILEAN MINING ENGINEERS´ PROPOSAL: A LITHIUM NATIONAL COMPANY
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CHILEAN MINING ENGINEERS´ PROPOSAL: A LITHIUM NATIONAL COMPANY

 The head of the Lithium Comittee from IIMCh, Leonidas Osses, proposes no less than a state-owned Lithium National Company in order to exploit this non metallic mineral in Chile, after the government decided to revoke the lithium mining concession to SQM.  

Osses´ proposal took place in IIMCh buildings (Chile Mining Engineers´ Institute), in front of its most important authorities, including Manuel Viera, CEO & Managing Partner of Metaproject and IIMCh treasurer, and chairman Leopoldo Contreras. 

The strategic key of this project is not the mineral itself, said Osses, but the salt-flat know as Salar de Atacama, which belongs to the Chilean state and where the 85% of worldwide lithium reserves are found. Therefore, he thinks that the state should take an active role for the greater good of Chilean people.  

He proposes then the local state to have a 40 or 49% of participation in its development, and the rest, to share it within foreign and local private companies able to add their technology and proper know-how to the construction and extraction process. 

"That would be ideal, international companies will feel more confident if the know that the state is taking part in this, with Codelco, ENAMI or even CORFO", Osses explains, after watching how the Chilean image around the world lost credibility due to the revocation of the lithium mining concession to SQM. "The whole world would be happier. Many companies for Japan, China or South Korea would be willing to arrive here. The state would send a very strong sign of credibility".

Manuel Viera from Metaproject says:  "IIMCh proposes to create a Lithium National Company. It should be ENAMI of another state-owned actor with a 49 percent of participation, and the rest, designated to local and foreign private efforts. The chances are high because there are people here who’ve been around for 40 years in this. Chile wins and the country wins".

Date: 24-10-2012 - Reading: 4345