Corfo reaffirmed today that before December 15, it will submit an arbitration in the Chamber of International Trade to its agreement with the American Albemarle, for differences in the interpretation of a clause.
"We would like this not to happen because we are strategic partners in this industry And hopefully we would have come to build an agreement that would benefit the installation of this industry and we feel that this price they are offering does not do it, "said Sebastián Sichel, executive vice president of Corfo, to Reuters.
According to Corfo, Albemarle would not be fulfilling its obligation to offer up to 25% of its annual lithium production capacity – a key ingredient in the electromobility industry – at a discount rate to companies seeking to produce battery materials in Chile .
The lithium producer said a few weeks ago in a statement that he had made several offers of prices and that he believed that he had fulfilled his obligations with the Chilean Government.
Corfo has previously clarified that the dispute with Albemarle would not endanger its right to produce lithium in Salar de Atacama, one of the most sought after light metal deposits in the world.
According to the government entity, the reduced rate agreed upon in the contract must be equal to the lowest market price of lithium produced by the company and exported from Chile in the last six months, which would not be fulfilled, according to Corfo.
"According to the legal strategy and that we have as a state, we will know (in arbitration) the boundaries and petitions that will be known in its minute," said Sichel.
However, the Chief of Corfo emphasized that the government's focus is on driving the development of companies seeking to produce batteries in Chile, so they expect that this dispute will be resolved in the shortest period.
"We want companies to be installed as soon as possible and wish Albemarle to approach the position that we understand every day as a referring price according to what is specified in the contract," said the state agency executive.