Argentine mining exports hit 10-year high as lithium, EVs take off

22nd March 2023

By: Reuters


Font size: - +

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina's mining exports hit historic levels last year, the government said on Tuesday, powered by surging lithium income as the South American agricultural powerhouse targets profits from the metal key to meeting booming electric vehicle (EV) demand.

Even as Latin America's third-largest economy suffers triple-digit inflation and the fallout of a devastating drought afflicting top farmland, lithium exports helped push up the country's mining exports to $3.86-billion last year - the highest level in a decade, according to economy ministry data.

Argentina's lithium riches, like those in neighboring Chile, are extracted from brine in sprawling salt flats that use the power of the sun to concentrate the ultra-light metal in evaporation pools.

In 2022, lithium exports surged 234% from a year earlier, accounting for nearly a fifth of all Argentine mining shipments.

In a rare bright spot for the country's ailing economy, the trend shows no sign of slowing.

During the first two months of this year, exports of the white metal more than doubled, from a year earlier, with February shipments pulling in a record $58 million.

The ministry sees mining revenues of $6 billion this year, in part boosted by two new lithium projects set to launch as well as a pair of major expansionsunderway.

A scramble for the metal has caused its price to skyrocket, which in turn has motivated companies and investors alike.

Some of the world's largest mining companies have operations in northern Argentina, including China's Ganfeng Lithium and US miner Livent Corp, which will supply lithium for rechargeable batteries in BMW vehicles.

Mining industry investment since 2020 totals some $11.3-billion, the ministry data showed, including $5.1-billion for lithium and $4.9-billion for copper, also heavily used in EVs.

Spanning Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, South America's so-called "lithium triangle" accounts for more than half of global lithium supplies.

Edited by Reuters



SBS Tanks
SBS Tanks

SBS® Tanks is a leading provider of innovative water security solutions with offices in Southern Africa, East and West Africa, the USA and an...

Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East
Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East

Weir Minerals Africa is a global supplier of excellent minerals solutions, including pumps, valves, hydrocyclones, wear-resistant linings,...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine cover image
Magazine round up | 26 May 2023
26th May 2023

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.059 0.099s - 90pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now