Albemarle granted permit to increase lithium brine extraction rates in Chile and enters into MOU with Chilean Government for 27-year lithium quota

Feb 01, 2016, 18:41 ET from Albemarle Corporation

BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), a premier specialty chemicals company and leader in the production of lithium and lithium derivatives, announced today that it has been granted approval by the Environmental Assessment Commission (CEA) of the Antofagasta Region to increase its currently authorized lithium brine extraction rate at the company's facility in the Salar de Atacama, Chile.   The increase will enable the company to meet the accelerating demand for lithium, especially high purity lithium compounds required for the production of lithium batteries.

In addition, the company announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chilean Government defining the terms of a partnership for an increased lithium quota consistent with the principles and goals of the Lithium National Commission, as established in its final report issued in January 2015. The MOU provides Albemarle with sufficient lithium to support the production, over a 27-year period, of 70,000 MT annually of technical and battery grade lithium carbonate and 6,000 MT annually of lithium chloride at Albemarle's two manufacturing facilities in La Negra, Antofagasta, as well as at a third lithium carbonate facility that Albemarle will commit to construct under the MOU.  The MOU provides for commission payments to the Chilean Government based on sales price/MT and Albemarle's support of research and development in Chile in lithium applications and solar energy.  In addition, the MOU recognizes the principle of community value sharing and acknowledges the cooperation agreements that Albemarle has entered into with local, indigenous communities under which Albemarle provides financial support for social, environmental and economic development. Finally, the MOU provides Albemarle with an exclusive option for an additional lithium quota in connection with the development of lithium hydroxide production directly from brine. 

"As stewards of this resource, we are committed to the principles set forth by the Chilean National Lithium Commission, which benefits all stakeholders, especially the communities in which we operate and those committed to evolving the region's technology leadership," said Luke Kissam, President and CEO of Albemarle Corporation. "Our sustainable, state-of-the-art operations allow us to maximize the amount of lithium extracted from the brine, thus increasing the value of this resource for the stakeholders."

"We are excited to extend and expand our activities in Chile, the region with the best lithium resources in the world," added Luke Kissam. "This agreement will not only establish Chile as the global leader in the production of value-added lithium-based products, it provides economics that justify Albemarle's continued investment in the region.  As a result, we will be better positioned to capture 50 percent of the growth in lithium applications and solidify our leadership position in the industry."

The definitive agreement is expected to be executed by the end of the first quarter 2016.

About Albemarle
Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a premier specialty chemicals company with leading positions in attractive end markets around the world. With a broad customer reach and diverse end markets, Albemarle develops, manufactures and markets technologically advanced and high value added products, including lithium and lithium compounds, bromine and bromine derivatives, catalysts and surface treatment chemistries used in a wide range of applications including consumer electronics, flame retardants, metal processing, plastics, contemporary and alternative transportation vehicles, refining,  pharmaceuticals, agriculture, construction and custom chemistry services. Albemarle is focused on delivering differentiated, performance-based technologies that deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to its customers. The Company employs approximately 6,900 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries. Albemarle regularly posts information to www.albemarle.com, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, Regulation G reconciliations, SEC filings and other information regarding the Company, its businesses and the markets it serves.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Albemarle Corporation's business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

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