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China private equity player GSR eyes stake in $9 billion Chilean lithium miner SQM: Sources

Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital is looking to buy a substantial holding in Chile's Sociedad Quimica Y Minera (SQM), one of the world's biggest lithium producers, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

GSR could buy a stake of around 20 percent - worth just under $1.9 billion at current market values, one of the sources said, but added there was no firm agreement.

SQM is one of just a handful of established lithium miners globally and a Chinese investment would go hand in glove with an electric car boom in the world's biggest auto market.

Beijing is aggressively promoting the vehicles to combat air pollution and as a means for the domestic car industry to compete with foreign rivals that have decades more experience in internal combustion engines.

The sources said GSR, which has invested in clean technology and electric cars, met the Chilean government in April to discuss the potential...