While the decision is final and not subject to appeal, one legal hurdle remains — Pampa Group, which controls SQM, earlier this month filed an additional appeal with Chile’s TDLC antitrust court.
Tianqi Lithium Mining News
Nutrien’s executive vice-president Michael Webb, described Julio Ponce, the Chilean miner’s top shareholder and former chairman, as a “hypocrite” and urged him to “look beyond himself."
The Constitutional Court said it would hear arguments in the case on Oct. 22.
The final deal size could be smaller than $1 billion due to a steep drop in lithium carbonate prices.
The $87.5-million deal is the latest Chinese acquisition of a lithium project in South America, following Tianqi Lithium’s decision to buy 24% of SQM for $4.1 billion, which has not yet been approved by Chile’s antitrust regulator.
The expansion, on top of a $238 million upgrade due for completion in April, will double the mine’s production to 1.95 million tonnes a year of lithium concentrate a year from 2020.
Trial dates have been set to determine whether expansion at the Greenbushes mine, in which Tianqi Lithium holds a stake, would impact its mineral rights.
Chengdu-based Tianqi is seeking to almost triple production capacity through 2020.
There is an emerging oligopoly in one of the hottest elements on the periodic table, lithium.