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Chile's SQM raises $1.1 billion, plans to more than double lithium production

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(Kitco News) - Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) yesterday announced that its Board has approved initiating the process to increase the company’s capital of up to US$1.1 billion.

According to the company’s statement, the capital increase proposed by the Board is intended to finance part of its “ambitious” US$1.9 billion investment plan for the years 2021-2024 which will allow the company “to expand lithium, iodine and nitrates operations.”

Approximately US$1 billion will be invested into the lithium carbonate expansion in Chile, from 70,000 metric tons to 180,000 metric tons, the lithium hydroxide production expansion from 13,500 metric tons to 30,000 metric tons in Chile and the Mount Holland project in Australia.

SQM has five principal business lines: specialty plant nutrition, lithium and derivatives, iodine and derivatives, industrial chemicals and potassium.

In the Atacama Desert, located between Chile’s first and second regions, SQM has exclusive access to the world’s best and largest reserves of caliche ore and brines.

The company possesses the most extensive reserves of iodine and nitrate, as well as the highest concentrations of lithium and potassium on record.

In addition, in 2017 the company began diversifying geographically by acquiring new resources to extract lithium from spodumene in Western Australia (in partnership with Kidman Resources).

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