Chile initiates arbitration against Albemarle over lithium dispute


Mexico City / 02.21.2021 10:53:45

Chile initiated an arbitration process against the American Albermarle, the world’s largest lithium producer, for breach of its exploitation contract in the coveted Salar de Atacamaa local newspaper reported Sunday.

The state development office Corfo, in charge of the contract, denounced on Friday to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC, for its acronym in English) a incorrect interpretation in the commission calculation formula that the company must pay, which in 2020 should amount to about 60 million dollars.

In an interview with the morning newspaper El Mercurio, the head of Corfo, Pablo Terrazas, said that the payments were correct in the previous years and the difference started last year.

« We have no doubt that we are going to recover the 15 million dollars that have been missed in 2020 and we hope that the company will reconsider, « Terrazas said.

Added that seek that the agreement continues to be interpreted in good faith, as in previous years and that it also pays « any possible breaches that may occur during the course of the trial. »

The company paid for the year only 44.1 million dollars. In November, Corfo had advised legislators that it was preparing litigation against the firm.

In 2018, Corfo and Albemarle came close to facing a similar conflict but on the other part of the contract referring to the allocation of lithium for local value-added firms.