October 31, 2018 / 3:39 PM / 18 days ago

Lithium miner SQM shares climb after Chile court rejects appeals

SANTIAGO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Shares of Chilean lithium miner SQM jumped during midday trading on Wednesday, a day after Chile’s anti-trust court rejected appeals to block Tianqi Lithium Corp’s $4.1 billion offer to buy a stake in SQM, the world’s No. 2 lithium producer.

SQM B-shares jumped 3.69 percent to 30,200 pesos ($43.23) at 12:07 local time (1506 GMT)on Santiago’s Stock Exchange.

Chile’s anti-trust court late on Tuesday dismissed appeals brought by SQM majority shareholder Julio Ponce Lerou, SQM and a Chilean consumer group. Each sought to overturn an earlier agreement struck between Chile’s antitrust regulators and China-based miner Tianqi.

The anti-trust court’s decision marked a key legal victory for Tianqi, a Chinese miner seeking to acquire 24 percent of SQM as Beijing promotes electric vehicles that rely on the ultralight battery metal.

Last week, Chile’s Constitutional Court rejected a separate lawsuit filed by Ponce to block Tianqi’s plans to buy the stake from Nutrien Ltd.

Nutrien has signed a deal to sell its shares to Tianqi by Dec. 13, 2018.

$1 = 698.5 Chilean pesos Reporting by Antonio De la Jara, writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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