The US company, Albemarle Corp., has taken over a massive salt-flats mine, pumping scarce briny water through dried-out salt marshes and lagoons to extract the prized mineral.
The battery maker is in the process of building a 100 megawatt-hour assembly plant in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh and the company is working closely with the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai.
Galaxy agreed to sell some mining tenements in Argentina to steelmaker POSCO for US$280 million in late May, amid signs of China's battery chemical market being oversupplied.
Fresh- and saltwater are critical to lithium production in the Atacama and have become a sticking point between local indigenous groups and long-standing producers SQM and Albemarle.
Eramet has been looking to expand in minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel salts linked to energy transition markets such as electric vehicles.
Talison Lithium aims to double production at Greenbushes by mid-2019, a move opposed by Global Advanced Metals.
The partner firm selected will be from either Russia or Germany.
Rack containing highly combustible chemicals like phosphorous and lithium collapses in school lab.