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.

Image of a worker inside a lithium pool
Aerial view of some lithium pools


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 source of supply for potassium chloride led SQM's top executives to start exploring the local market. The solution was in the Salar de Atacama.


Two SQM workers are seen walking around a lithium pool

Our beliefs

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

Aerial view of some lithium pools

Sustainable Production

The lithium production process involves 97.4% solar energy.

Image of a female worker taking a lithium sample

Leaders in inclusion

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

Image of some lithium sacks

First in Traceability

We know in real time where our products are.

Aerial view of some lithium pools

Online Monitoring

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

A worker is seen in the image recharging his car

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.

Climate Action

Through our production of Lithium and derivatives used in electric vehicle batteries, we contribute to the development of the green automotive industry.

Our people

SQM generates jobs in the world, promoting local work, offering an inclusive work environment and guaranteeing safe working conditions for all.

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

Our environment

SQM is committed to reducing its consumption of fresh water by setting concrete goals for 2040.

Our environment

We are committed to being carbon neutral in our Lithium Carbonate and Hydroxide products.


Carlos Diaz

Senior Vice President Potassium-Lithium Operations

Rodrigo Maffioletti

Vice President for Lithium Potassium Projects and Maintenance

Humberto Carvajal

Potassium Production Manager

German Perez

Planning and Studies Manager

Paul Altimiras

Senior Vice President Lithium and Iodine Business

Philip Smith

Commercial Vice President Iodine & Lithium Asia Pacific

Andres Fontannaz

Commercial Vice President Iodine & Lithium America and EMEA & India

Beatriz Oelckers

Quality and Regulatory Affairs Manager

Javier Silva

Salary and Sustainability Contracts Administration Manager

Philip Miranda

Planning and Studies Manager

Five people are seen with a paper in hand that shows a commercial agreement with Corfo


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.

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