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Mining duo plan $290 mln lithium project investment in Argentina

Mining duo plan $290 mln lithium project investment in Argentina

Reuters · 07/28/2022 07:00
Mining duo plan $290 mln lithium project investment in Argentina

- Miners Ultra Argentina SRL and China's Zangge Mining 000408.SZ will invest $290 million in Argentina to explore and develop potentially lucrative lithium deposits, the government said late on Wednesday.

The plan to produce lithium carbonate, a major component in rechargeable batteries, will start with a $40 million investment in the Laguna Verde Project in the country's Catamarca province, followed by at least another $250 million from Zangge to build a production plant by late 2023, the productive development ministry said in a statement.

"The ministry is willing to follow this project every step of the way and do everything possible to make it happen according to schedule so it can be a success," said Minister Daniel Scioli.

Argentina, the world's fourth-largest lithium producer with 8% of the global market, wants to close the gap with second-place Chile, which produces more than a fifth of world supplies.

Demand for the ultra-light white metal has soared on expectations that leading global automakers like Ford Motor Co. and Tesla will dramatically increase their sales of electric vehicles over the decade.

Argentina's lithium deposits are mostly trapped in sprawling salt flats, while top producer Australia largely mines the mineral from hard rock.

(Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Richard Pullin)

((eliana.raszewski@thomsonreuters.com; +54 11 4015-3820; Reuters Messaging: eliana.raszewski.reuters.@thomsonreuters.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReutersLatam))