Albemarle shares drop after media report on Chile lithium quota

Photo by Chilean Lithium Salars.

Shares of Albemarle Corp fell more than 2 % on Monday after a newspaper reported that Chile’s nuclear regulator has refused to increase the company’s lithium production quota.

The report, which has yet to be confirmed by officials, would be a blow to the world’s largest lithium producer’s aim to increase output of the light metal used to make batteries for electric vehicles.

Shares of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle were down 2.3 percent at $100.64 in Monday morning trading.

The Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN) refused to boost Albemarle’s production quota, even after the company received prior approvals for an increase from state development agency Corfo, according to a story published in the La Tercera newspaper over the weekend.

CCHEN representatives could not be reached to independently confirm the report.

Albemarle representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

(By Ernest Scheyder and Dave Sherwood; editing by Bill Berkrot)