Communities agree to end roadblocks at Chile lithium operations

15th January 2024

By: Bloomberg


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Indigenous communities in northern Chile agreed to lift roadblocks that have restricted access to the country’s giant lithium operations since January 9.

Members of the the regional indigenous peoples council, known as CPA, said they reached an agreement late Friday.

The communities have been pushing for Chilean President Gabriel Boric or mining minister Aurora Williams to visit the area. They say they weren’t properly consulted in advance of a deal struck in late December between SQM, the world’s second-largest lithium producer, and state-owned Codelco that would see production increase at the Atacama salt flat.

A planned trip by Williams to meet with leaders earlier this week was postponed due to divisions within the CPA.

SQM said its operations had been disrupted by the roadblocks while Albemarle, which extracts lithium nearby, said it had been running normally despite transport snarls.

Edited by Bloomberg


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