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Chile Plans to Nationalize Its Lithium Industry

Thought Leader: Peter Zeihan
May 8, 2023

With the demand for lithium growing, Chile is making moves to nationalize its lithium industry. This isn’t just another money grab; it’s an effort to move up the value-add chain.

The Indonesians have seen noteworthy success with the reclamation of their nickel industry, and the Chileans are looking to take a page from the Indonesian playbook. One of the most significant changes will be the development of critical infrastructure in the Atacama Desert, where most of the Chilean lithium is found.

So who are the biggest winners and losers in all of this? China is really the only loser; much of its lithium ore supply will disappear and its processing infrastructure will sit idle. The Chileans are the biggest winners, but most countries transitioning to green energy will benefit from this. So maybe nationalism isn’t always bad…

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