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Chile's Cofro, SQM make new effort to settle lithium mining claims

SANTIAGO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Chilean development agency Corfo and Pampa Calichera, which controls lithium giant SQM , have agreed to suspend their arbitration battle for 30 days as they make a new push to solve a dispute over mining claims, Cofro said on Monday.

If the negotiations are successful, Chile would be able to expand its lithium production "significantly," Cofro said in a statement. Cofro has accused SQM of failing to fulfill requirements to pay royalties and of violating environmental rules. (Reporting By Antonio de la Jara; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)