The Atacama Desert in Chile is home to extensive salt flats containing valuable lithium deposits, which are essential for producing electric vehicle batteries and green technologies. Concerns about sustainable extraction and its impact on the environment and local communities have emerged due to the focus on mining this precious mineral. The leading lithium producer in the world, SQM, has made significant efforts to improve its production processes and address these concerns.
They work closely with local communities, employ advanced technologies, and undergo independent audits to ensure high mining standards and environmental accountability. The growing demand for lithium, driven by the adoption of electric vehicles, emphasizes the need for responsible and sustainable production.
SQM plans to increase its lithium carbonate production capacity while prioritizing sustainability, implementing measures to reduce water and brine consumption. They prioritize the well-being of their employees and neighboring communities, engaging in open communication and regularly measuring their progress. Additionally, SQM generates value for Chile through job creation, tax contributions, and collaboration with local universities. Their participation in global forums, such as COP28, allows them to contribute to concrete climate action and share best practices with industry peers and stakeholders. SQM aims to serve as a model for sustainable lithium production worldwide and elevate the standards for responsible mining practices in the industry.