March 12, 2012


Chile's SQM to infuse US$550M on product augmentation


In order to increase production, Chile's Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (SQM) plans to invest around US$550 million this year, General Manager Patricio Contesse told Valor Futuro in an extensive interview Friday (Mar 9).


SQM is one of the world's leading producers of lithium, iodine, nitrates and other fertilisers.


The chemical producer expects a significant increase in production from the investment this year at its Atacama salt flat facility in northern Chile where the company mines potassium and lithium, among other minerals.


Contesse told the local wire service the company expects the prices of its products to remain "favourable" and sees an increase in sales in 2012.


Last year, according to its recently released earnings report, the company posted sales of US$2.145 billion.


"We're expecting a better 2012 year in terms of volume and in prices in general," Contesse said.


Last year, SQM posted a net profit of US$545.76 million, an increase of 43% from 2010.