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Chile court freezes multi-million dollar lithium deal

This handout file picture by SQM (Chemical and Mining Society of Chile) taken on December 26, 2016 shows an aerial view of the processing plant of the lithium mine, in Del Carmen salt flat, in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile.

A Chilean appeals court on Friday suspended a million-dollar state lithium tender issued two days earlier that had generated controversy for coming just two months before the end of conservative President Sebastian Pinera's term.

"Bearing in mind that the contested act is in full execution, it is agreed not to innovate, paralyzing the bidding and award process for the lithium, while this appeal is resolved," said the court in Copiapo in the north of the country, according to documents seen by AFP.

China's BYD Chile SpA and Chile's Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte S.A. were awarded the right to extract 80,000 tons of lithium ...

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