The Korea Herald


Eximbank to offer $100m financing to Chilean lithium producer

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Sept. 7, 2022 - 14:30

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Export-Import Bank of Korea headquarters in Seoul (Eximbank) Export-Import Bank of Korea headquarters in Seoul (Eximbank)
The Export-Import Bank of Korea said Wednesday it is offering a $100 million funding, consisting of a $55 million loan and a $45 million loan guarantee, to a Chilean mineral producer in efforts to help local companies secure a stable supply of lithium, a key material for batteries.

SQM or Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile is the second-largest lithium-producing company in the world that operates lithium mines in Chile and Australia. The company’s production capacity makes up almost 19 percent of the global production.

The new funds will be used to renovate and establish SQM’s lithium production facilities in Australia as well as developing a new mining project in the country.

In return, SQM is required to supply lithium worth $470 million to Korean battery cell and anode material producers during the 10-year contract.

“Following last year’s financial support for Singaporean commodity trading company Trafigura on the supply of key materials, the latest financing for SQM has enabled a stable supply of lithium, an essential mineral for secondary batteries, for domestic companies,” said Yoo Hee-sung, president of Eximbank.

“We will continue to expand our financial support to help the nation’s supply chain for key resources such as oil, gas and grains,” he added.