Lithium Roadmap: the new challenge undertaken by Alta Ley Corporation

After the positive experience and lessons learned following the development of the Mining Technology Roadmap, the entity decided to embark on this new and challenging project in order to meet the main needs of the industry and its possible solutions.

Lithium has been one of the lead characters of the conversations between the actors of the mining industry in recent times. It is predicted that, its worldwide market will triple in the coming years. This scenario puts Chile at the center of the conversation, since by owning one of the largest proven reserves of the mineral, it has the possibility of becoming one of the leaders of this industry.

This is why, as a way of knowing precisely the challenges facing this industry, establishing the lines of R&D work and the possible field of solutions in a medium and long term context, Alta Ley Corporation is working on a Lithium Roadmap, which will begin to be implemented in mid-December of this year.

Some of the stages that this roadmap considers are the following:

  1. Information gathering: evaluate the current situation and construction of the baselines, phases in operation, future projects, mining properties, concessions, technologies, stakeholder map, vulnerabilities and critical aspects and relevant inputs, among others.
  2. Identification, characterization and development of process cores: exploration, extraction, processes, products.
  3. Development of transversal nuclei: environmental, social and community.
  4. Development of nuclei with active participation of relevant entities: working groups, committees, etc.
  5. Preparation of the first version roadmap and feedback with workshops to shape the final version.

One of the main challenges associated with this work has to do with «the improvement of productivity in the stages of extraction and processing in Chile and sustainability in relation to water resources,» says Fernando Lucchini, who is in charge of coordinating this initiative. That is why, he argues, that it is an issue that must be addressed as soon as possible if we want to get into this car and lead this industry. “Chile is one of the countries with the greatest resources worldwide. Starting from this element, a lithium industry could be generated, among others, for energy storage; great value could be generated by moving forward in the lithium value chain through research and development, technology transfer and knowledge generation in the country in partnership with leading companies worldwide.”

Likewise, this Lithium Roadmap seeks to be a contribution to the industry, working collaboratively with producing companies, companies with access to lithium resources, technology providers, technology developers, among other entities of the national ecosystem. “Our purpose is to work collaboratively to consolidate a document where the problems or challenges that are facing and will face the industry are agreed and defined, and the way to solve them is delineated,” he concludes.