A mountain is reflected in a body of water.
A mountain in Atacama, Chile


The Seminar “Desafíos de la Minería al 2030”, held in Copiapó, has brought together important actors of the mining industry in our city, being one of the main topics addressed at the meeting, the future of Lithium and the wide range of possibilities it offers to turn Chile into a protagonist of the energy transition in the face of actions that could curb the climate crisis due to the phenomenon of global warming.

The occasion is organized by Grupo Periodístico Industrial and its magazines Amagazine, together with the Sindicato de Supervisores de Minera Candelaria, in addition to the sponsorship of: Centro de Estudios del Cobre y la Minería, (Cesco); Acesol; Alta Ley and Codelco.

In this line, Diario Chañarcillo interviewed Rodrigo Dupuoy, president for Latam of Ensorcia Group, a company that promotes clean and sustainable extraction of lithium contained in brine, through Direct Extraction Technology (DLE). The company is since 2016 in Chile and since 2021 in Argentina, through the Joint Venture Triangle Lithium.

Asked about the current state of the national lithium industry and why no progress has been made in materializing more projects despite the reserves, Rodrigo Dupouy, explained that “Chile has the largest reserves of lithium in the world and unfortunately in 1979 lithium was declared a strategic material, Therefore, it can only be exploited by the State or by State or private companies through a Special Operation Contract (CEOL), a CEOL has never been granted, except to Codelco in the Salar de Maricunga in the second government of Michelle Bachelet”.

According to the mining executive, “today there are two operations in Chile, prior to 1979, which are in the Salar de Atacama and under the ownership of CORFO, and they are leased to Soquimich and what is paid is what we all know as a Royalty, which is really a lease fee”.

The knot for progress in the materialization of projects associated with lithium is that “the government has not granted more Special Operating Contracts, nor have the state companies developed different salt flats with which we can reach an agreement, and until either of these two things happen, the industry will hardly develop in Chile”.

Regarding his opinion on the National Lithium Strategy, Dupuoy explained that “in April President Boric launches this National Lithium Strategy, but without any regulation, so although it is a good first measure, it does not have a downstream yet” adding that “the owners of the salt flats are not regulated either, The intention is to deliver CEOLs but only for operation and not for exploitation, on some place where there may be a mining concession of a third party, and we are quite concerned that CEOLs are being tendered on land that belongs to third parties, which may eventually cause a legal problem”.

Another aspect addressed by Dupuoy was the role that Chile could have in the world energy transition as a supplier of lithium for, for example, vehicles with electromobility technology, to which he referred that “the role that Chile plays in this today is very little, with respect to lithium which is what will allow the development of batteries that store this energy and Chile is producing 202 thousand tons and for the year and for 2030 it is projected that the world requirement will be of three million tons”.

“The Government could give here a change of direction and say, we are going to be responsible as a country to help the world precisely to lower this global warming, to be more sustainable and lower the consumption of fossil fuels” and in this sense he was emphatic in pointing out that “there are two possibilities, one is to unlock the process either through a public-private link, with one or several State companies or by granting CEOLES to private companies and charging some Royalty or through concessions which would accelerate the process so that we the private ones could enter” detailed the executive.

Finally, he added that “we are very anxious, we have the technology, which is industrially proven and which is precisely what the President mentioned in April, that lithium could only be exploited with direct extraction and reinjection, which we think is on the right track, and we are willing to bring our technology as soon as we have the permits”.


Ensorcia Group technology has an extraction efficiency of up to 95%, making its operation much more effective than evaporation ponds, which usually do not exceed 40% efficiency. According to their web platforms, “a key factor in this technology is the re-injection of brine into the salt where it works.

After the extraction of chlorine and lithium from the brine, up to 92% of the brine is reinjected into the salt with all the rest of its components, thus not affecting the water balance or the biodiversity of the salt flat”.

The company also points out that “it is important to note that the evaporation methods used to produce lithium today do not reinject absolutely nothing back into the salt flats.

Everything evaporates, causing significant impacts to its water balance and, therefore, to its biodiversity, flora and fauna”. Ensorcia Group process with respect to the use of fresh water stands out because “these plants only need 0.22 liters per second to operate, which is significantly less than traditional production systems.

In addition, Ensorcia Group plans to supply its plants with desalinated water in order to have the least possible impact on the environment and the communities surrounding the salt flats”.

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