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Albemarle pays Corfo US$15 million after arbitration

After more than three years since the case exploded, on April 26 Corfo and Albemarle reached an agreement, which contemplates the payment of just over US$15 million by the North American firm, within the framework of the dispute they had over the calculation and payment of commissions for the exploitation of lithium from the Salar de Atacama.

In a press release, Corfo reported that the agreement resolved “amicably” the process carried out by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Thus, both parties they renounce taking future actions regarding the calculation and payment of commissions that generated the controversyand also incorporate modifications to the exploitation contract, called “Annex 2024.”

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Specifically, the agreement considers the disbursement of US$15,158,993 from Albemarle to Corfo.

The executive vice president of Corfo, Jose Miguel Benaventeexplained that “the adjustments in the contracts reflect the agreements reached to perfect the mechanisms for calculating the commissions that the North American company must pay to the Corporation for the exploitation of lithium, without implying changing the price range and rate scheme. progressive and marginal already defined in 2016″.

He added that Annex 2024 also establishes “a series of clauses that allow projecting production with higher sustainability standards in the Salar de Atacama, in line with the definitions of the National Lithium Strategy (ENL), presented in April of last year. by President Gabriel Boric.”

Meanwhile, since Albemarle They said they were “proud of our relationship of more than 40 years with Corfo, of having reached an agreement that benefits both Chile and Albemarle, and grants the option to increase production in the Atacama salt flat using efficient and environmentally responsible technologies.” .

The executive vice president of Corfo, José Miguel Benavente, met this Tuesday, May 14, with the vice president of Operations and Country Manager in Chile of Albemarle, Roland Haemmerli.

In its statement, Corfo specifies that, among the most relevant modifications to Annex 2024, is the incorporation of contractual and environmental auditors who report to the parties regarding adequate compliance with payments and environmental obligations.

The latter is reinforced with a new clause on environmental compliance that contemplates the implementation of an online monitoring system; the collaboration of Albemarle in the development of studies led by Corfo; the delivery of technical, productive, geological, hydrogeological and environmental information; and the company’s commitment to participate and work jointly with Corfo and/or with other actors in the Salar de Atacama basin in the development of a comprehensive hydrogeological model and/or integrated monitoring of the entire Salar, among other aspects.

In line with the sustainability goals Two new clauses are also added that commit the company’s best efforts to use clean energy and to reduce industrial water requirements in its production processes until it is completely replaced by alternative solutions.

Corfo and Albemarle also agreed on a new clause that establishes an option that would allow the company to expand its production quota by 240,000 tons of Lithium Metal Equivalent (LME), as long as it tests and validates the use of new, more environmentally sustainable technologies (such as for example direct extraction or DLE). To do this, once the company expresses its intention to use the option, Corfo must carry out an Indigenous Consultation process and the company must meet other prior requirements to access this new quota in addition to the one agreed in 2016.

“Among the conditions agreed upon with Albemarle is the development of pilot projects that confirm that the implementation of new extraction technologies allows achieving efficiency levels of at least 60% in lithium recovery. And all of this must be accompanied by the company obtaining Environmental Qualification Resolutions (RCA) and authorizations from the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN), in addition to the delivery to Corfo of an investment plan. associated with the project,” explained Benavente.

The executive vice president of Corfo added that “prior to the definitive closing of the agreement that puts an end to the arbitration, the Council of Atacameños Peoples (CPA) was also informed about the main contractual improvements.”

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