(Bloomberg) -- The government of Chile hopes to have three or four new lithium projects up and running by 2026, Finance Minister Mario Marcel said on Saturday.

The goal is part of President Gabriel Boric’s national lithium strategy in which state-owned companies will partner with private-sector firms in new lithium areas deemed to be strategically important.

In the coming weeks, the government will announce which new areas it will offer in a bidding process to be held later in the year, and which will be categorized as strategic, Marcel said. He spoke from northern Chile where he accompanied US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on a tour of Albemarle Corp.’s lithium plants.

Currently only Albemarle and local firm SQM produce lithium in Chile, which boasts the world’s biggest reserves of the battery metal but has been losing market share. The government is looking to boost sustainable supply of the key component in electric-vehicle batteries, in the shift away from fossil fuels.

Yellen is in Chile as the US looks to increase its presence in global battery supply chains and source more raw materials domestically and from countries with which it has free trade agreements.

Read More: Yellen Praises Ties With Chile, a Vital Part of EV Supply Chain

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