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Chilean water rights clamp-down could impact lithium supply plans

Posted on - 28 Sep 2018

Category - News & Views

Chile’s Water authority is considering establishing a new drinking water reserve near to the core of the Salar de Atacama salt flats which could impact both existing lithium production as well as planned supply additions. Regulators announced that they stopped issuing new water extraction permits in the southernmost sector of the Salar’s watershed (C2) which is a key source of supply for BHP Billiton’s (ASX:BHP/LSE:BLT) Escondida and Antofagasta’s (LSE:ANTO) Zaldivar copper mines. Regulators suggested that the Chilean government had granted permission to the companies to pump six times more water from aquifers than they can sustain. While the companies have...

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