Ganfeng Lithium plans battery factory in Argentina


From pv magazine LatAm

Matías Kulfas, the Minister of Productive Development of Argentina, and Gerardo Morales, the governor of the northern Argentinian province of Jujuy, signed a memorandum of understanding last week with China's Ganfeng Lithium to build a lithium battery factory. They also agreed to jointly identify future investment opportunities related to lithium extraction.

The agreement focuses on efforts to assess the viability of joint projects related to lithium exploration and sustainable mobility.

“It is a process where all of us who are sitting here are going to win,” said Kulfas.

In March 2016, Chilean non-metallic miner SQM announced the acquisition of a 50% stake in the project from Lithium Americas, in order to extract lithium in the Cauchari-Olaroz salt flats, at the Argentine Exar mine. In 2018, Lithium Americas announced another strategic partnership with Ganfeng Lithium, which bought its stake in the SQM project for $87.5 million.

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The project will start production in mid-2022. Once it is operational, it is expected to produce 40,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate per year. Ganfeng Lithium owns a 51% stake in the mine and Lithium Americas holds the remaining 49%.

Jujuy Litio, a company formed by JEMSE (Jujuy Energía y Minería, Sociedad del Estado) and Italy's SERI, currently manufactures lithium batteries in Europe. Two years ago, it announced the construction of the first lithium-ion battery factory in Latin America.

Recently, BMW said that it would acquire more than $300 million of lithium from Argentina.

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