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Chile wants lithium to be traded on LME

Chile’s mining minister Baldo Prokurica asked the London Metals Exchange (LME) Wednesday to consider trading the coveted metal used in the batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and high-tech devices, and so provide greater "clarity" about its value.

On his first visit to the Britain after taking office in March of this year, Prokurica met with local companies about the potential formation of partnerships with state-miner Codelco to eventually produce value-added lithium products, EFE news agency reports.

In July, the LME asked companies that assess prices of battery-grade lithium to submit proposals to supply a reference for cash-settled contracts it plans to launch next year. Currently, producers negotiate contracts with buyers but the terms of the deals are not made public.

"We want to generate conditions for our products to be sold in a transparent manner, and that raises the possibility that lithium be traded on the LME so there can be clarity about its value," the minister said, according to Chilean paper Estrategia.

Already the world’s top copper producer, Chile holds about 48% of the world’s known lithium reserves, and it’s the second largest lithium miner, after Australia, with 80,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent produced last year. But both companies and the government are working hard on reversing that.

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