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Chile begins new lithium exploration in the southern Atacama


Chile begins new lithium exploration in the southern Atacama

Santiago de Chile, Feb 17 (Prensa Latina) Chile will begin new lithium exploration work today in the Maricunga salt flat, some 670 kilometers south of this capital, the National Copper Corporation (Codelco) reported in an statement.
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The company will undertake these first works in the desert Atacama Region, at a cost of 15 million dollars, to determine if the exploitation of the mineral is feasible there, according to the note.

“According to the results in the concentrations of lithium dissolved in the brines – the text adds – the company will define if it is environmentally and economically viable to continue with the following stages of the project”.

The evaluation was commissioned by the Government to Codelco and the Ministry of Mining, in accordance with the National Lithium Policy and Governance of Salt Flats, implemented in 2016.

That strategy instructs the exploitation of the metal “through public-private partnerships, considering the respect and care of social, economic and environmental axes,” the statement said.

The exploitation of lithium in the sterile territories of Atacama unleashes a dispute of its inhabitants with the agencies dedicated to it, due to the large quantities of water required for its extraction. Chile has one of the world’s largest reserves of lithium, a mineral with a legal status similar to hydrocarbons.


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