INTERVIEW ON THE PRICE OF BUSINESS SHOW, MEDIA PARTNER OF THIS SITE.
Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Henk van Alphen, CEO, Wealth Minerals.
Chile is the second largest producer of lithium in the world, and electric vehicle producers are looking to the country for affordable supplies of this critical mineral. “It is no surprise that the global boom in electric vehicle production has sent demand for lithium-ion batteries soaring,” says Henk van Alphen, CEO, Wealth Minerals, (TSXV: WML), (OTC: WMLLF) (FSE: EJZN) which is developing world class lithium assets in a region of Chile that produces much of the world’s lithium. “In Chile’s Salar de Atacama, near the border with Argentina and Bolivia, close to one-third of the world’s lithium is produced from brines which is why Chile’s vast, lithium-containing salt flats are a vital resource.”
The business of extracting lithium today in Chile features Albemarle, a U.S.-based company that also controls the largest lithium operations in Australia, and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM), Chile’s largest lithium mining company. Current exploration for lithium in Chile is concentrated in the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in the country, and Salar de Maricunga. The leading junior mining companies operating in the Chilean lithium mining market are Calgary based Lithium Chile and Vancouver, BC-based Wealth Minerals.
van Alphen, a veteran mining leader, talks with Kevin Price about how Chile seeks to usurp the global lithium leadership mantle from Australia and the role that Chilean President Boric’s new national lithium strategy announcement in April 2023 calling for public-private partnerships for future lithium projects plays. President Boric said that “any private company, whether foreign or local, who wants to exploit lithium in Chile, must associate with the state.”
“I am excited that President Boric has had the courage to break the deadlock regarding government policy on lithium in Chile. His announcement opens the door for Wealth to develop its Ollagüe and Atacama Projects without the overhang of ambiguity regarding government policy. No doubt, this announcement will be noticed by multiple lithium consumers globally, who have been reluctant to enter Chile as strategic partners with developers like Wealth until this moment. Additionally, it has validated our work since 2016, with a singular focus on Chile’s enormous lithium potential,” says van Alphen, who has had a long and successful career building exceptional value for shareholders. Mr. van Alphen has been directly responsible for raising $200 million in the last 10 years and has been closely associated in financing an additional $800 million.
Chile’s strategy is designed to expand production through partnerships between a new state-owned lithium company and private investors,” reports The Wilson Center, a think tank that provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. “Chile already operates a mining company, Codelco, which is one of the largest copper producers in the world. At the same time as he expands the industry, Boric is taking steps to reduce its environmental impacts on the salt flats and local communities in the Atacama desert. He has also pledged to fairly distribute the revenue from lithium production, including to local communities, and to promote local research into green technologies that rely upon lithium.”
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE:
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