According to the Chilean economics report (June 2023) issued by the embassy of Japan in Chile, the latest situation in the country can be summarized as below:
The economic activity index in May recorded -2.0%. In the mining section recorded -7.5%.
The mining production index in the same month was -9.2%, and copper production decreased by 14.1%.
The export amount in June was 7.94 billion dollars (-3.6%), of which mining products raised 4.75 billion dollars (1.0%, 59.9% of the total), of which copper raised 3.88 billion dollars (3.6%, 81.7% of the total mining export value).
On the other hand, import value in the same month was $6.37 billion (-25.5%), and the trade balance was a surplus of $1.57 billion.
*Percentages from the same month of the previous year
The amount of trade with China, Japan, and South Korea (May) resulted as below:
With China: exportation 2.69 billion (-27.2%), importation 1.56 billion (-16.8%), total amount of trade 4.25 billion (-23.7%)
With Japan: exportation 540 million (11.2%), importation 170 million (23.3%), total amount of trade 720 million (13.9%)
With South Korea: exportation 590 million (39.6%), importation 100 million (-43.0%), total amount of trade 690 million (16.0%)
*Dollars, comparing to the same month of the previous year
For the first half of 2024, the Chilean government is planning to invite private companies to bid for lithium exploration permits in 18 salt fields in the Antofagasta and Atacama provinces registered by the Chilean National Geological and Mining Service.
From 2023, the subsidiaries of CODELCO (Chilean Copper Corporation) and ENAMI (National Mining Corporation) will be granted a Lithium Special Operating Contract (CEOL) for exploration and development, allowing them to decide whether they work with private companies or not.
In addition, according to the schedule of the National Lithium Strategy announced in July, strategies/plans such as the dialogue process with indigenous peoples, the establishment of technical and public research laboratories, and the establishment of a national lithium company (scheduled for 2024) were explained.
The bill to establish the state-owned lithium company is planned to be submitted to parliament by the end of this year.
Reference: References: The regular report of economy June 2023, from the Embassy of Japan in Chile, Department of Economy.
(The original report is written in Japanese.)