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□ The Export-Import Bank of Korea (www.koreaexim.go.kr, Chairman Yoon Hee-sung, "Korea Eximbank") is slated to provide large-scale financial support to secure a stable supply of lithium for domestic battery cell and anode material companies.
□ Korea Eximbank announced on September 7 that it will provide a total of $100 million (a loan of $55 million and a guarantee of $45 million) to Sociedad Quimica Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM), a Chilean mineral producer.
○ SQM is the world's second-largest lithium producer with lithium mines in Chile and Australia. Its production capacity accounts for about 19% of the global lithium production.
○ The funds provided by Korea Eximbank will be used to invest in SQM's development of lithium mines in Australia and renovation and expansion of production facilities.
□ Under the agreement, SQM is required to supply lithium worth about $470 million to Korean battery cell and cathode material producers during the 10-year loan period.
○ As a result, Korean companies will be able to secure lithium valued about five times the amount of funds provided by Korea Eximbank.
□ Lithium is a key mineral for anode materials for electric vehicle secondary batteries, and is a mineral produced only in a few countries including Chile and Argentina.
○ This is why the financial support of Korea Eximbank is expected to greatly contribute to the stable supply of lithium to domestic companies, diversifying global suppliers.
□ Korea Eximbank chairman Yoon said, "Following last year’s financial support for Singaporean commodity trading company Trafigura on the supply of key materials, this financing for SQM has enabled a stable supply of lithium, an essential mineral for secondary batteries, for domestic companies."
○ He added, "We will continue to expand our financial support to help the nation’s supply chain for key resources such as oil, gas and grains."