What does a “Just Transition” mean for the lithium triangle?
This session presnted on the lithium boom that is being experienced in the so called “lithium triangle”, the expected impacts this will have and the responses of relevant stakeholders to manage this boom. After a brief overview to frame the discussion, the panellists focused on the Chilean experience at the national and local level. Given that the Salar de Atacama is responsible for about 30% of global lithium production in 2022 and the two mining companies in the Salar have been operating in the region for decades, it is a good case study of the potential impacts this industry could have going forward and provide valuable lessons learned. Alejandra Wood provided insights about the experiences Chile has had with the lithium extraction at the national level, and explain the objectives set out in the recently announced National Lithium Strategy. Rebecca Burton and Nikolaus McLachlan provided insights about the impacts, hopes and concerns raised by communities living around the Salar de Atacama during the audits performed by IRMA and the multistakeholder discussions organised by GIZ.
The panel concluded by reflecting on how the experience in Chile can provide lessons learned about the impacts on countries and regions that are at the centre of the critical minerals boom, and how stakeholders in Germany and Europe can support them.
Alejandra Wood, Centro de estudios del cobre y la minería, (CESCO)
Rebecca Burton, Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, (IRMA)
Nikolaus McLachlan, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, (GIZ)
- Nicolas Maennling, Regional Cooperation for the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources in the Andean Region (MinSus)