Chilean lithium producer SQM is investing in mines and plants outside its home base as demand for lithium for electric-car batteries grows. Its brine extraction joint venture in Argentina’s Salar de Cauchari, with Canada’s Lithium Americas, has moved to the engineering phase. In a new project, the company will jointly develop a spodumene mine in Western Australia with Kidman Resources. The two projects will add a combined 65,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate-equivalent capacity by 2021. Demand for lithium is growing by 14% per year, SQM says, and will exceed 500,000 metric tons by 2025.