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Lithium Production Giants Squabble Over Atacama Flats Water Study

SANTIAGO

U.S.-based Albemarle Corp, the world's largest lithium producer, has accused its top rival, Chilean miner SQM, and local regulators of seeking to keep secret a coveted report about the environmental impact of lithium mining in Chile's Salar de Atacama, according to a filing made by its lawyers. Chilean regulator Corfo, which oversees lithium mining in the Atacama, in August denied a request from Albemarle ALB.N to review the long-awaited report. The report, which remains under wraps, aims to stamp out uncertainty over the sustainability of mining activity that has long cast a pall over the sensitive salt flat, home to one-quarter of the world's current output of lithium, but also indigenous communities, protected areas, and endangered flamingos.

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