Chile has called for lithium to be traded on the London Metals Exchange to provide greater “clarity” about its value, mining minister Baldo Prokurica said. At present, lithium producers negotiate contracts with buyers but the terms of the deals are not made public. Critics say this lack of clarity has a chilling effect on potential new investment in the market since the metal’s value cannot be precisely measured.
Chile’s exports of lithium carbonate reached US$ 85 million in July, more than double that of the same month the previous year, as demand and prices for the key component in electric vehicle batteries continues to rise, the central bank said in a release.
A new report by BMI Research states that based on project pipelines, Chile and Argentina will lead lithium production in coming years, with the bulk of new capacity coming online in 2019.