reports regarding Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile's (NYSE:SQM) arbitration proceedings with Chile's Corfo, SQM came out with more of its own side of the story this week.Following recent
SQM published a release regarding the "Main Points of the Arbitration Proceeding Between SQM and Corfo," reasserting that it has fulfilled all obligations related to its lease agreement and has no outstanding debt with the government agency. The company acknowledged that keeping a reasonable level of confidentiality is advised during arbitration proceedings, but argued that since Corfo's arguments have been put out to the public, it needs to have its own say. "In light of the extensive press coverage in recent days of CORFO's position regarding the arbitration process, SQM considers it necessary to make public its position on the main points under discussion subject to the ongoing arbitration proceeding," the company said in a statement. Some of the main points covered relate to SQM's lease payments, formulas used to determine reference prices for minerals sold and water rights for its operations in the Atacama. For example, SQM's lease payments are based on a percentage of lithium product sales, but Corfo claims that SQM has been using the wrong formula to determine those payments, and that Corfo has suffered economic losses as a result. Corfo has also suggested that SQM did not provide sufficient documentation regarding logistics and other costs that are discounted from reference prices used to calculate lease payments. SQM has argued that it had external auditors check its information when Corfo questioned those numbers in the past, and that everything turned out to be correct.