Chile plans lithium tender in April, seeks 70% jump in output

Chile plans lithium tender in April, seeks 70% jump in output


SANTIAGO, March 27, 2024 – Chile is planning a tender next month to open 26 lithium salt flats to private development as part of a drive to boost output by 70%, the government announced on Tuesday.

The country is the world’s second-largest producer of lithium after Australia. President Gabriel Boric unveiled a national lithium policy last year, anticipating a quadrupling of lithium demand by the end of the decade. Chile plans to boost output by 70% in a decade, according to

Bidding will close in July, and a list of salt flats on offer has been published here.


Chilean Minister of Finance Mario Marcel said  earlier this month that the government targets having three to four new lithium projects launched by 2026.

The government noted it was reserving the high-potential Atacama and Maricunga salt flats for State development, which will be undertaken by national copper miner Codelco. The two areas hold lithium potential of 10.8 million tonnes, according to, which equates to 64% of global reserves.

The tender appears to signal a walking back of President Boric’s announcement in April 2023 that the country would nationalise its lithium industry.

The world will face a deficit of lithium of 12.5% by 2030, according to the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Photo of salt flats courtesy of the government of Chile.