In the Salar de Atacama, the brine is extracted, which is concentrated in evaporation ponds, taking advantage of the climatic conditions of the Salar de Atacama and the high levels of solar radiation. This allows SQM Lithium's production process to involve 97,4% solar energy, allowing us to produce high-quality and pure lithium.

Man with yellow raincoat in a salt flat
Panoramic view of SQM Lithium company


The history of SQM and lithium begins in 1996 when the company began to produce potassium nitrate, made from sodium nitrate and potassium chloride.

Sodium nitrate was obtained in large quantities from the caliche that abounds in the Atacama Desert. However, potassium chloride was not produced in Chile and was purchased abroad, with Canada being the largest supplier.

The urgent need to have their own potassium chloride supply source led SQM's top executives to begin exploring the local market, where the solution finally lay in the Salar de Atacama, in northern Chile.


2 lithium experts in the field

Our Values

We are committed to Excellence, Integrity, Safety and Sustainability.

Salar de Atacama drying pools

Sustainable Production

The lithium production process involves 97.4% solar energy.

Lithium expert woman in yellow raincoat

Leaders in inclusion

We have 16,7% female staff, and we have an Inclusion and Diversity Policy.

SQM Lithium Carbonate packaged products

First in Traceability

We know in real time where our products are.

Panoramic view of SQM company drying pools

Online Monitoring

Learn about our extraction of mining resources and environmental management of the Salar de Atacama.

Worker man using eco-charger in white electric van

South America's first eco charger

The energy system does not need to be connected to the electricity grid, and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Ods 13 Climate Action

Climate Action

Through our production of Lithium and derivatives used in electric vehicle batteries, we contribute to the development of the green automotive industry.
SDG 8 Decent Work And Economic Growth

Our people

SQM generates jobs in the world, promoting local work, offering an inclusive work environment and guaranteeing safe working conditions for all.
SDG 17 Partnerships To Achieve The Goals

Our people

We aspire to be a contribution in the creation of shared social value of neighboring communities, jointly building their sustainable development and improving their quality of life
SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation

Our environment

SQM is committed to reducing its consumption of fresh water by setting concrete goals for 2040.
Ods 12 Responsible Production And Consumption

Our environment

We are committed to being carbon neutral in our Lithium Carbonate and Hydroxide products.
Safety measures in the salt flat


Learn about our projects, and the Corfo contract that establishes preferential rental rates and prices for local producers, contribution in R&D and development of communities surrounding the operation.

SQM Lithium Separator