A new organization for lithium in Latin America will be established among the governments of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico in a bid to share expertise and best practices for developing the key metal of the battery, Mexico’s president told reporters on Tuesday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador fought last month for a law on lithium nationalization, the left-wing leader’s latest embrace of state-centric resource nationalism, even though the country’s potential lithium deposits are still far from being achieved on a commercial scale.
Bolivia, Argentina and Chile are often referred to as the “lithium triangle”. and in total more than half of the world’s reserves.
Chile and Argentina are far ahead in production, largely due to the availability of lithium-rich salt flats, while Bolivia boasts more reserves of super-light white metal but lacks production.
Global demand for lithium has increased in recent years, largely driven by miners and technology companies hoping to equip the electric car fleet of the future, which will require large amounts of lithium as well as other metals for rechargeable batteries.
Last year, global lithium production increased by 21%, driven by increased demand for industry-standard lithium-ion batteries, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
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Chile has been at the forefront so far, with the help of private companies, including two of the world’s largest lithium producers SQM and Albemarle Corp. The South American country, also a major copper mining company, produced 26,000 tons of lithium last year, followed by Argentina, which boasted 6,200 tons, according to the US Geological Survey.
Argentina, where state-owned YPF shares the market with private companies such as Pepinnini Minerals Ltd in Australia and Livent Corp in the United States, has sought to attract more investors through new mining infrastructure and tax cuts.
Brazil is Latin America’s third-largest lithium producer with 1,500 tonnes in production last year, according to the USGS, also augmented by private miners including US Largo Clean Energy.
Try to take advantage of Latin America’s lithium wealth faster – SABC News
Source link Try to take advantage of Latin America’s lithium wealth faster – SABC News