Chile’s lithium industry – level 3
Chile, the world’s second-largest producer of lithium, has announced the nationalization of the lithium industry. Lithium is one of the essential metals used in electric vehicle batteries.
The move aims to boost the country’s economy and safeguard its environment. The shift would eventually transfer control of Chile’s vast lithium operations from industry giants SQM and Albemarle to a separate state-owned company. The decision poses a challenge to electric vehicle manufacturers looking to secure battery materials as more countries look to protect their natural resources.
The global lithium market is facing a shortage of raw material supply. Mexico nationalized its lithium deposits last year, and Indonesia banned exports of nickel ore, another key battery material, in 2020. Chile has the world’s largest lithium reserves, and Mexico, Argentina, and Bolivia are creating a lithium association to share their expertise in exploiting the mineral.
Difficult words: nationalization (a process in which a government becomes the owner of an industry or company), safeguard (to protect), expertise (a high level of skill or knowledge).
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What are the potential implications of nationalizing lithium operations for the production and price of electric vehicles?
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