A $5 billion deal between Chinese resources company Tianqi and Chile’s largest lithium miner has met a stumbling block, with Chilean regulators threatening to block the deal.
The deal would see Tianqi Lithium buy a 32% stake in SQM, currently the world’s second-largest lithium producer. As the Financial Times notes, some analysts have SQM down to supply over half of the world’s lithium demand by 2025.
The Chinese government has voiced its disapproval of Chile’s move to potentially block the deal, warning of damage to China’s bilateral relations with Chile.
China’s ambassador to Chile Xu Bu told the domestic newspaper La Tercera that government opposition to the deal could “leave negative influences on the development of economic and commercial relations between both countries.”