https://www.miningweekly.com
Business|Copper|Power
Business|Copper|Power
business|copper|power

Chile lithium miner SQM spars with China partner over Codelco deal

26th March 2024

By: Reuters

  

Font size: - +

Chilean miner SQM's board chairman challenged what he called the questionable motives of a major shareholder, China's Tianqi Lithium Corp, the latest jab in an increasingly public spat over SQM's planned partnership with state copper producer Codelco.

Tianqi, a global lithium rival that holds about 20% of SQM shares, last week raised concerns over transparency in the talks with Codelco, which is slated to take a 50% plus one share stake in the new joint venture beginning in 2025 under a government policy aimed at boosting state control in Chile's lithium industry.

SQM, the world's No. 2 lithium producer, and Codelco reached an initial agreement in December and aim to finalize details by May 31.

Tianqi CE Frank Ha emphasised the company's worries over the Codelco deal in comments to Chilean newspaper La Tercera published Saturday.

When asked if Tianqi would be interested in bidding for its own contract to exploit lithium from Chile's Atacama salt flat, in the case that SQM's deal with Codelco in the area were to fall through, Ha said Tianqi would be open to "all opportunities that align with the company's strategic vision."

SQM board chairman Gonzalo Guerrero singled out the remark in a statement distributed by SQM, arguing that it "raises questions about Tianqi's real objectives" just as negotiations with Codelco are close to concluding.

"Are these statements in the best interest of SQM, or Tianqi?"

Tianqi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Guerrero also rejected Tianqi's urging to put the Codelco deal to a shareholders' vote, which he said could potentially give Tianqi veto power.

"It's worth asking, once the transaction is vetoed, whether Tianqi would try to pursue this business opportunity for itself," he said.

Guerrero also questioned Tianqi's plans for the board of directors, after Xu Tieying, who held one of three seats nominated by Tianqi, resigned last week without explanation. The next board of directors meeting is April 25.

Tianqi acquired a near-quarter share of SQM in 2018 for $4.1-billion amid concerns from regulators, competitors and consumer groups that the deal could give Tianqi a near monopoly over the global lithium market.

A Chilean antitrust court eventually approved the transaction but set conditions that limited Tianqi's access to SQM business secrets.

Edited by Reuters

Comments

Showroom

Rittal
Rittal

Rittal is a world leading provider of top-quality integrated systems for enclosures, power distribution, climate control, IT infrastructure and...

VISIT SHOWROOM 
Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa (Pty) Ltd
Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa (Pty) Ltd

Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa is sole distributors for Goodwin electrically driven, submersible, abrasion resistance slurry pumps.

VISIT SHOWROOM 

Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (12/04/2024)
12th April 2024 By: Martin Creamer

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
PLUS
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?

MAGAZINE & ONLINE

SUBSCRIBE

RESEARCH CHANNEL AFRICA

SUBSCRIBE

CORPORATE PACKAGES

CLICK FOR A QUOTATION







sq:0.112 0.145s - 89pq - 2rq
1:
1: United States
Subscribe Now
2: United States
2: