More than 135,855 million Chilean pesos (Ch$) were delivered by SQM to the Regional Government (GORE) of Antofagasta and the municipalities of San Pedro de Atacama, María Elena and Antofagasta, within the framework of the public-private partnership that the company has with CORFO. This handover took place through two meetings led by José Miguel Berguño, SQM’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Services; the Regional Governor, Ricardo Díaz; and the mayors Justo Zuleta (San Pedro de Atacama), Omar Norambuena (María Elena) and Jonathan Velásquez (Antofagasta).
These resources, earmarked for the development and promotion of production in the region, are aimed at improving the quality of life of the region’s residents. Broken down by recipient, the GORE of Antofagasta received a contribution of over Ch$103 billion, while San Pedro de Atacama received Ch$15,983 million and the municipalities of María Elena and Antofagasta received Ch$7,991 million each.
In this regard, José Miguel Berguño, SQM’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Services, pointed out that the resources given are 7 times greater than the previous year, and double the National Regional Development Funds (FNDR) of the Antofagasta Region. This is due to our triple-fold increase in production, and an improvement in the international price of lithium. “When mining approaches sustainability, it gives a commercial advantage that translates into more resources for the region. At SQM, we want to be a world leader in lithium. We already produce this key product for electromobility with the lowest emissions and water consumption footprint in the world, allowing us to contribute significantly to global and local development,” added the executive.
The regional governor, Ricardo Díaz, highlighted the contribution, noting that “these amounts are much greater than what we receive from the State, so we have to be responsible in how we use them. We must have a vision with long-term projects that benefit regional development, focused on infrastructure investment, to change the face of the region.”
At the municipal level, the mayor of San Pedro de Atacama, Justo Zuleta, pointed out during the meeting that improving quality of life not only represents an injection of resources, “but also focuses on the quality of relationships and care for the environment. Today we have a great responsibility to generate the necessary impacts on the community; these are resources that exceed the municipal budget. Therefore, we must be in tune with people’s needs and look to the future with more hope and a sustainable outlook.”
In the case of María Elena, Mayor Omar Norambuena highlighted the role played by SQM in the territories, adding that “these contributions mean hope for the inhabitants and future generations of the district, so we would like to generate and respond promptly with 2 large projects for the families of the Pampas.”
Finally, the Mayor of Antofagasta, Jonathan Velásquez, expressed his gratitude for the resources, noting that security will be one of the projects that the district is looking to strengthen. “We have a social commitment and these funds will help our administration immensely. We will consider investing resources in security, so it is important to work on initiatives that are passed on to the people.”
This transfer represents the company’s fifth delivery of resources, ratifying the commitment that it fulfills year after year based on its sales of lithium, together with all the products coming from the Salar de Atacama.