White Gold Rush: Codelco's Lithium Ambitions in Chile

Leonard Benedikt Kruschel & John Francis Lafranchise

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger

Abstract

This thesis aims to investigate the potential role of Codelco, Chile's state-owned mining company, in the country's lithium sector, which has experienced a surge in demand due to the growing popularity of electric vehicles and the global shift towards green energy. At the same time, the boom has also raised concerns about the environmental and sociocultural impacts of lithium mining in Chile’s salt flats. Using a strategy tripod framework and evidence obtained from nine expert interviews and secondary data sources, we conclude that Codelco does not have the necessary firm resources or institutional advantages to compete effectively against established private firms in the Chilean lithium industry. The competitive dynamics of the industry and Codelco's sub-par corporate social responsibility practices further compound the challenge. However, we suggest that Codelco could still have a role to play in Chile's lithium industry by partnering with private firms through public-private partnerships. These partnerships could take the form of an advisory panel in which Codelco serves as a stakeholder for the Chilean people in relation to private lithium mining interests. Overall, our thesis contributes to the ongoing discussion on developing sustainable and socially responsible lithium mining practices in Chile, a critical exporter of the mineral that can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

UddannelserCand.merc.Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato15 maj 2023
Antal sider150
VejledereJacobo Ramirez