South Korean steel company Posco plans to invest $4 billion in a new lithium mining project in Argentina, Reuters reported.
The investment is part of the company’s plan to tap into growing demand for lithium, which is the key metal in rechargeable batteries.
Posco will invest in a project in a salt flat, known as Salar de Hombre Muerto, located on the border between the northern provinces of Salta and Catamarca.
According to the Salta Mining Department, the company originally planned to invest $830 million in the venture. However, the changes made to the original project resulted in an increase in the amount of investment.
The project is expected to have an initial annual production of 25,000 t of lithium hydroxide and increase to 100,000 t upon completion of the venture.
Over the next three decades, the export value of the project is expected to be $260 million per year, the news agency reported citing a statement from the office of Argentine President Alberto Fernandez.
Last month, Chinese mining company Zijin Mining Group announced plans to invest $380 million to build a lithium carbonate plant in Argentina.
Built as part of the Tres Quebradas project, owned by Neo Lithium, in the northern province of Catamarca, the new plant will have a production capacity of 20,000 tpy of lithium carbonate.
Argentina, along with its neighbors Bolivia and Chile, shares what is known as the “lithium triangle”, which is believed to host one of the largest lithium reserves in the world.