SANTIAGO, March 9 (Reuters) - Chile's development agency Corfo said on Friday that companies from China and South Korea, as well as Chile, had been approved to make investments of around $754 million in the red-hot lithium industry.
The companies selected in a bidding process to develop technology focused on the lithium market were Chile's Molymet and China's Sichuan Fulin Industrial Group, a joint venture between Samsung SDI Co Ltd and South Korea's POSCO .
Corfo said that within two years the companies would be ready to produce about 58,000 tonnes of cathode per year, the main material in lithium batteries.
The Atacama salt flat is part of the so-called "lithium triangle" in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, a region containing a large portion of the world's lithium reserves.
Investment and output have increased in recent years as demand for electric vehicles surges.
Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker