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Chile: Water cannons, clashes as protest over lithium royalties hits Santiago02:47

Chile: Water cannons, clashes as protest over lithium royalties hits Santiago

Chile, Santiago
January 30, 2018 at 10:18 GMT -00:00 · Published

Protesters clashed with police in Santiago on Tuesday as they carried out a demonstration over the royalties of lithium production.Hundreds of people attended the protest to defend the key battery material as a 'strategic' natural resource, which they claim should be nationalised. Police detained several protesters and deployed water cannons to disperse the crowds. The Unified Workers Central (CUT) and the movement 'Lithium for Chile' banded together to organise the protest. They called for the demonstration after the Corporation for the Promotion of Production (CORFO) signed an agreement with Chile's largest lithium producer, Chemical Society and mining of Chile (SQM), to allow them to increase the amount it mines in Salar de Atacama. The decision to allow SQM to continue mining until 2030 ended a long-held dispute over the rights to mining lithium in the area. SQM will be able to increase its production quota just as a rise in global demand hits, with US electric car-manufacturer Tesla looking for future opportunities to invest in their supplies.Protesters demand the government stop making deals with a company they believe to be corrupt and to instead renationalise the lithium industry to recover wealth for the state.

Chile: Water cannons, clashes as protest over lithium royalties hits Santiago02:47
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Protesters clashed with police in Santiago on Tuesday as they carried out a demonstration over the royalties of lithium production.Hundreds of people attended the protest to defend the key battery material as a 'strategic' natural resource, which they claim should be nationalised. Police detained several protesters and deployed water cannons to disperse the crowds. The Unified Workers Central (CUT) and the movement 'Lithium for Chile' banded together to organise the protest. They called for the demonstration after the Corporation for the Promotion of Production (CORFO) signed an agreement with Chile's largest lithium producer, Chemical Society and mining of Chile (SQM), to allow them to increase the amount it mines in Salar de Atacama. The decision to allow SQM to continue mining until 2030 ended a long-held dispute over the rights to mining lithium in the area. SQM will be able to increase its production quota just as a rise in global demand hits, with US electric car-manufacturer Tesla looking for future opportunities to invest in their supplies.Protesters demand the government stop making deals with a company they believe to be corrupt and to instead renationalise the lithium industry to recover wealth for the state.

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