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Chilean newspaper criticizes lithium award to consortiums

Chile, litio, concención, periódico, críticas

Chilean newspaper criticizes lithium award to consortiums

Santiago de Chile, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) The Chilean daily El Siglo described as dark the government's operation of awarding lithium exploitation to private consortiums, something that sparked new criticism on Friday.
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This publication condemns President Sebastian Piñera and Minister of Energy and Mining Juan Carlos Jobet’s decision.

An analysis by a El Siglo team of reporters considered that decision, made on Wednesday, reinforces the criticized extractivist model that has prevailed in Chile since it was imposed by the military regime.

It adds that the questionable fast-track procedure is similar to last-minute operations made by dictator Augusto Pinochet when he was finishing his term in office to leave laws and measures in place.

According to this daily, before leaving office, Piñera and Jobet conceived granting this benefit to major private companies, so they imposed a tender period of only three months.

The article notes that both officials evaded sector and technical analysis and disregarded the fact that the new administration would take office in two months and Parliament’s democratic resolutions to stop the tender.

For the past few years, Chile, which has 40 percent of the global reserves of this mineral, has lost market participation. Moreover, it was ousted by Australia in 2017 as leading lithium producer in the world.

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