Chile

Argentina hopes to topple Chile as Latam’s leading lithium producer and exporter

Since Argentina’s business friendly president Mauricio Macri took office in December 2015 and opened the country to foreign capital, Argentina has received more investment than any other country in the ‘lithium triangle’ – the border region including parts of Chile and Bolivia that contains over half the world’s known reserves of so-called “white petroleum.” Australia’s Orocobre, which produces some 14,500 tons of lithium carbonate per year at a mine on the Olaroz salt flat, has announced plans to more than double its total production to 35,000 tons by 2019, in conjunction with its partner Toyota Tsusho Corp. “There is a real potential that Argentina will leapfrog over Chile in terms of production in five years’ time,” Richard Seville, chief executive of Brisbane-based Orocobre, said during a visit to the mine. … Continue reading The arid conditions of the lithium triangle high in the Andes, some 4,000 meters above sea level, are ideal for evaporating the brine to leave lithium residue. Argentina holds vast reserves of the white dust but for years, its production trailed its western neighbor as investors remained wary of the successive populist governments of Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernandez from 2003 to 2015. Argentina is the world’s third-largest producer, with some 30,000 tons per year, but that is less than half of Chile’s annual output of 70,000 tons. Yet with Macri’s two-year-old government making lithium a priority, Orocobre and other miners are bypassing Chile and heading for Argentina. [CDATA[//> Copy and paste this code into your site to embed Executives at Canadian miner Lithium Americas Corp, whose US$ 425 million Cauchari-Olaroz development is close to Orocobre’s mine, said Argentina’s lithium output could triple in the next five years. “The shift in mindset around looking at Argentina more favorably has happened very quickly over the last couple of years and obviously that has a lot to do with politics,” said Chris Berry, a spokesman for Lithium Americas. Lithium Americas is basing its investments on expectations that global production will triple to 600,000 tons by 2025, up from 200,000 tons currently.

Since Argentina’s business friendly president Mauricio Macri took office in December 2015 and opened the country to foreign capital, Argentina has received more investment than any other country in the ‘lithium triangle’ – the border region including parts of Chile and Bolivia that contains over half the world’s known reserves of so-called “white petroleum.” Australia’s Orocobre, which produces some 14,500 tons of lithium carbonate per year at a mine on the Olaroz salt flat, has announced plans to more than double its total production to 35,000 tons by 2019, in conjunction with its partner Toyota Tsusho Corp. “There is a real potential that Argentina will leapfrog over Chile in terms of production in five years’ time,” Richard Seville, chief executive of Brisbane-based Orocobre, said during a visit to the mine.
… Continue reading The arid conditions of the lithium triangle high in the Andes, some 4,000 meters above sea level, are ideal for evaporating the brine to leave lithium residue.
Argentina holds vast reserves of the white dust but for years, its production trailed its western neighbor as investors remained wary of the successive populist governments of Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernandez from 2003 to 2015.
Argentina is the world’s third-largest producer, with some 30,000 tons per year, but that is less than half of Chile’s annual output of 70,000 tons.
Yet with Macri’s two-year-old government making lithium a priority, Orocobre and other miners are bypassing Chile and heading for Argentina.
[CDATA[//> Copy and paste this code into your site to embed Executives at Canadian miner Lithium Americas Corp, whose US$ 425 million Cauchari-Olaroz development is close to Orocobre’s mine, said Argentina’s lithium output could triple in the next five years.
“The shift in mindset around looking at Argentina more favorably has happened very quickly over the last couple of years and obviously that has a lot to do with politics,” said Chris Berry, a spokesman for Lithium Americas.
Lithium Americas is basing its investments on expectations that global production will triple to 600,000 tons by 2025, up from 200,000 tons currently.