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In a Lithium Squeeze, Biggest Producer ‘Going as Fast as We Can’

  • Albemarle will evaluate some projects in Western Australia
  • Company bought bidding rules for new contracts in Chile
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Albemarle Corp., the world’s biggest lithium producer, is expanding as quickly as possible and evaluating new opportunities as buyers of the battery metal struggle to keep up with surging electric-vehicle demand.

The company plans to start sales from a new plant in Chile early 2022 and from an expansion in Western Australia around the middle of the year, as it restarts another mothballed mine. At the same time, it’s evaluating a bid for new contracts in Chile and looking out for possible acquisitions in Australia, North America and Europe, senior executives said in an interview Thursday.