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Chile: Lithium mines shut down by protester roadblocks, part of anti-gov demonstrations

Chile: Lithium mines shut down by protester roadblocks, part of anti-gov demonstrations

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Indigenous activists in Chile have shut down lithium mining operations for some of the world’s largest producers, as the country is gripped by protests over widespread perceptions of inequality. Chile’s capital saw its biggest rally yet on Friday, following seven straight days of demonstrations sparked by a hike in public transportation fees, in which at least 18 people have been killed, over 200 injured and thousands arrested. As things heated up in Santiago, however, protesters nearly 700 miles north locked down roadways in the Atacama salt flats, blocking access routes to some of the region’s abundant lithium mines. Chile is home to the world’s largest lithium reserves, as well as one of the top producers of the lightweight metal – used in cell phone batteries and other electronics – the Chemical and Mining Society (SQM). The effort to close the roads has been underway since Wednesday, Sergio Cubillos, president of the Atacama Indigenous Council, told Reuters, adding that SQM’s…
Source: Chile: Lithium mines shut down by protester roadblocks, part of anti-gov demonstrations

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