Lithium Chile
Saudi Arabia’s mining minister plans to visit Chile next month Image Credit: Twitter | Lithium Chile

Dubai: Almar Water Solutions, a water infrastructure developer and part of Saudi Arabian company Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, plans to collaborate with Chile’s state-backed Codelco on the Maricunga lithium mining project.

Codelco is a Chilean state-owned copper mining company founded in 1976.

Maricunga lithium project is a high-grade lithium brine deposit located in the III Region of the Atacama in Northern Chile and hosts one of the highest-grade lithium mineralisations in the Americas.

CEO Carlos Cosin highlighted the Spain-based company's goal to utilise its technology for extracting lithium, a key battery metal, according to the international news service Reuters.

Chile ranks as the world’s second-largest lithium producer and a significant copper producer.

Codelco has enlisted investment bank Rothschild to find a partner for the Maricunga project as Chile aims to strengthen its lithium industry. A partnership is anticipated to be finalised next year.

Cosin noted that Almar could bring in another robust financial partner if included in a consortium developing the Maricunga salt flat.

Lithium, primarily used in battery manufacturing, is extracted through mining metal-bearing rocks, accounting for 57 per cent of global supply in 2023,or distilling it from brine.

Saudi Arabia’s mining minister, Bandar Alkhorayef, plans to visit Chile next month to negotiate securing lithium to support the country’s expanding electric vehicle (EV) sector, according to Reuters citing a Chilean government statement.

During the visit, Alkhorayef will meet with his counterpart in Santiago to discuss potential investments in the lithium industry.