SQM (Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA)

SQM is the world’s largest lithium refiner and leading lithium producer with more than 25 years of experience in lithium production in the north of Chile. The company has a global presence and provides solutions for human development through its five business lines: Specialty Plant Nutrition, Iodine, Lithium, Potassium and Industrial Chemicals.
At SQM, R&D and innovation are the driving forces for sustainable leadership in lithium production. successfully adapting its production, commercial, logistical, and management processes to the diverse conditions of global markets. This ensures operational continuity under the highest standards and creates value for our customers, stakeholders, and the environment in which we operate.


  • SQM extracts lithium-rich solutions from brine in the Salar de Atacama and further processes them into battery-grade lithium carbonate and hydroxide in the world’s largest lithium refinery in Chile.
  • SQM is diversifying lithium production outside of Chile. The company is expanding its presence in Australia, where it has started producing spodumene concentrate through the joint venture Covalent Lithium. The lithium hydroxide refinery will begin production in 2025. European networks: LiCORNE EU Project, Future Technology (LiFT) Project, Fraunhofer’s BASE project as part of Horizon Europe

Role in eLi

  • Provide expertise, data and relevant information for research institutions.
  • Collaborate and participate in selected projects.


Stefan Debruyne, Andrea Di Masi, Denise Kirschner