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Global: China does not want Chile to block $5bn SQM lithium deal

 |  April 26, 2018

A little-known Chilean company that until recently churned out mostly crop nutrients may hold a key to the future of electric-vehicle production. And a Chinese mining company is standing ready, poised to grab a big piece of it, reported the Financial Times.

The Chinese government has criticised a move by regulators in Chile to try to block the sale of a $5bn stake in the country’s largest lithium producer to a Chinese company, saying it could harm bilateral relations.

The comments could ease the way for China’s Tianqi Lithium to buy 32% of Chile’s SQM, the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, a key material in batteries, which has been put up for a sale by a Canadian company called Nutrien.

Xu Bu, China’s ambassador to Chile, told local newspaper La Tercera that the opposition to the stake sale could “leave negative influences on the development of economic and commercial relations between both countries”.

Full Content: Financial Times

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