Production by the region's five biggest gold miners slips as a result of asset sales and a temporary suspension at Barrick Gold's Veladero operation.
The Movimiento Litio para Chile wants a company modeled on state copper giant Codelco, the movement's coordinator tells BNamericas.
Chinalco's 2022 strategic plan includes autonomous trucks, automated CCTV and remote control of drills.
The US$2.5bn project has faced fierce opposition from environmental groups since it was submitted for approval in September 2013.
Peruvian miners are drilling again at properties across the country's Andean spine as surging metals prices provides an incentive.