The Chilean presidential candidate Gabriel Boric conveyed the importance of having a state company to exploit lithium, in a meeting held in the northern Tarapacá region with regional governors.
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"Lithium is the mineral of the future," Boric maintained, adding that the country "cannot make the historic mistake of privatizing resources again," referring to the country's prevailing extractive model.
Boric raised the need to create a national company for the exploitation of lithium and to have the capacity to develop an industry under its wing, which generates added industrial value instead of exporting raw material in its raw state, as is currently the case with copper production.
Lithium is found in abundance in the salt flats of the Atacama Desert and is currently exploited through the joint venture Chemical and Mining Society de Chile - Soquimich (SQM). This mining company has been linked to the illegal financing of Chilean politics in recent years.
In Lirquén, we talked with Ru, Ana María, Roberto, Jessica and all the neighbors. The Biobío region has been entirely abandoned by the country's center, and the State must provide the tools to end unemployment and poverty in the area.
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Lithium is a globally coveted mineral good, so it is necessary to have state capacity, not only for its extraction, but also for its manufacture and generation of added value and work, "Generating jobs in the deposits and a Chilean seal to the product," highlights the presidential candidate.
It is not the first time that the idea of generating a new state company to exploit and develop the lithium industry is installed in Gabriel Boric's political agenda.
In 2016, Boric sponsored a bill that "sets the extraction, exploitation and industrialization of lithium deposits in Chile, through the creation of the National Lithium Company (NLC)."