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Gold rush in the 'lithium triangle'


Felix Dorn, University of Vienna
Post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Development Studies - Storytelling and documentary photography


The world's largest (and most profitable) lithium deposits are found in South America's so-called ‘lithium triangle’, which stretches from the Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) to the Salar de Atacama (Chile) and a series of smaller salt flats in northwest Argentina. In recent years, the boom around the ‘white gold’ lithium has given rise to a large number of new mining projects.


Chile’s new National Lithium Policy:
Questions, agreements and disagreements among multi-scale actors

Hugo Romero, Universidad de Chile
27 June 2023, 15.30-17.00 (note this is a Tuesday)

Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd floor, room 2.02

Activity: Lecture co-organized with Worlds of Lithium (AISSR & ERC)

On April 21, 2023, the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, announced the long expected National Lithium Policy. The reactions of local, national and global social actors have been mostly in opposition to its content, in particular to the proposal of a public-private institution that takes charge of lithium exploitation, ecological protection and the establishment of agreements with local communities.

In this lecture, Dr. Hugo Romero presents a critical analysis of Chile’s new lithium policy, based on the physical geographic knowledge and the socio-ecological and territorial power relations that exist in the salt flats of the Atacama Desert. The main objective of the new policy is to recover Chile’s first place in world production, to serve the financial needs of the state. Internationally, the proposal has been criticized, accusing it of “nationalization”, and business organizations consider the participation of the subsidiary state in mining activity unnecessary. While academic communities are concerned about the lack of scientific knowledge to make decisions, the Council of Atacameño Peoples has indicated that they were not considered in the elaboration of a policy that does not protect their territorial integrity.

Watch here the announcement of the long expected National Lithium Policy.

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