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Chilean copper mining giant Codelco’s output continued to decline year-on-year in the first half of 2024 but should tick up in the second half of this year, the chairman of the State-run miner, 

Pacheco said he did not expect to adjust this year’s copper forecasts, and he did not expect opposition from Chinese lithium giant Tianqi to prevent its deal with SQM, the world’s No. 2 producer of the key battery metal.

Tianqi last week appealed to Chile’s financial regulator to reconsider its decision that a deal between the two Chilean firms does not require shareholder approval.

Tianqi, which owns a fifth of SQM, has also said it would consider legal actions.

SQM has agreed to a deal with Codelco that would give the state a key role in producing lithium while letting SQM boost its own output, a major plank of the Chilean government’s plan for greater state control.

Chile is the world’s second-largest lithium producer after Australia