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Chile’s mining production up 7.7% in February

Chile’s mining production is starting to turn the corner after months of a sustained output slump, with the country’s total output up 7.7% in February from the same month last year.

The country’s top commodities, copper and lithium, were behind the overall production increase, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Metal extraction grew by 5.5% on the back of rising copper output, which grew 9.95% to 420,242 tonnes. The country accounts for almost a quarter of the world’s supply, equivalent to about 5.2 million tonnes a year.

Contributing to the positive monthly results was that non-metallic mining sector, which increased its overall output by 24.9%, compared to the same month in 2023. This particular category was boosted by higher lithium carbonate production, the figures published by the INE show.

The South American country is the world’s top copper producer and the second largest exporter of lithium, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs), cell phones and various other high-tech devices.

Despite its leadership position in both sectors, the country is seeking to expand its lithium production, with official estimates pegging the increase by 70% by 2030 and 100% over the next decade.

Chile unveiled last week a list of 26 lithium-bearing salt flats that will be open to private investors in a tender that will run from April to July. In these projects, associations may be formed with state companies but unlike in areas deemed as strategic, here they will be optional.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More