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Chilean lithium giant SQM boosts net income 949% in H122 on strong lithium prices

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(Kitco News) - Chilean mining company Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), a major lithium producer globally, yesterday reported net income of US$1,655.4 million in H1 2022, an increase of 949% compared to a net income of US$157.8 million in H1 2021.

The company said that this substantial increase in net income was a result of favorable market conditions related to fertilizers, iodine and lithium, adding that revenues from the company’s lithium business line totaled US$3,293.0 million in H1 2022, an increase of 1,004% compared to US$298.3 million in H1 2021, primarily due to a significant increase in lithium prices.

SQM also pointed out that in light of market demand expectations, the company is increasing its capacity and expects that sales volumes of lithium and derivatives in 2022 will reach at least 145,000 metric tonnes.

Importantly, the company noted it is close to reaching 180,000 metric tonnes of lithium carbonate capacity and is currently working to complete its lithium carbonate capacity of 210,000 metric tonnes while committing to reduce brine and water usage through technology and continuous innovation.

SQM is a major lithium producer with a 19% market share, as well as other divisions servicing nutrition and industrial chemicals.

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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