25th April 2023

Central & South America

Argentina's lithium pipeline booming

A strong pipeline of lithium projects in Northern Argentina is set to unlock production activity that could see its output of the key electric vehicle battery metal triple within the next two years.

The world’s fourth largest producer of lithium metal is situated in the "lithium triangle" and has been attracting investment from Canadian to Chinese mining firms with a regional and market-led model, despite waves of resource nationalism in the region.

Neighboring Chile, the region's top lithium producer, last week unveiled plans for a state-led public-private model, which according to Reuters, worried investors. Bolivia retains strict control over its substantial and untapped resources, while Mexico nationalized its lithium deposits last year.

In Argentina, despite state energy firm YPF starting to explore for lithium last year, the sector has largely been driven by private enterprise and regular approvals of new projects as the government has looked to bring in more export dollars through mining. 

"Argentina has granted concessions to projects for the last 10 years," said Franco Mignacco, president of Argentina's Chamber of Mining Business. "That's why today we have this level of lithium investment and development and the chance of growth.”