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Albemarle says new technology will boost Chilean lithium output by 30 percent

May 9 (Reuters) - Albemarle Corp said on Thursday it is moving forward on a project to boost Chilean lithium production by 30 percent without using more brine from the environmentally sensitive Salar de Atacama, the world's driest desert.

The company, the world's largest producer of the white metal used to make electric vehicle batteries, said it expects to commission the project by 2021. Chief Executive Luke Kissam told investors on a Thursday conference call that he is "very confident" in the new process, though he gave few details on how it could work.


(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)