The lithium complex could be the fifth Argentine exporter before the end of the decade, since the volume of investments could multiply exports of this mineral by ten in the coming years, concluded an analysis of the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR).
“The lithium complex went from being el 6% of mining exports in 2021 to 18% in 2022, with projections to continue growing in 2023″, highlighted the report prepared by the BCR economists Emilce Terré and Guido D’Angelo,
Thus, he stressed that “the lithium complex comes from tripling its foreign exchange volume and break records in its foreign trade in 2022″, and assured that “with a promising first semester of 2023 and great prospects for the rest of the year, it also projects a great horizon for the next ones”.
With close to US$695 million exported in 2022, the Lithium Complex ranked as the 18th exporter nationwide.
“With the production forecasts of the projects in progress, from 2025 the productive capacity of Argentine lithium would allow it to consolidate it as the fifth exporting complex in Argentina, taking the data from 2022,” highlighted the BCR. Thus, the lithium complex could export more than US$7 billion as of 2025.
This value is estimated by taking the average FOB prices of lithium carbonate export for the first half of 2023, and using the tentative production start dates of the projects.
Lithium: what are the ongoing projects
In this sense, of the 49 lithium projects in the portfolio in Argentina, three are already producing and exporting. This year they should join two more projects into production.
Two more projects are under construction and between pre-feasibility and advanced explorations, eight more projects are added to expand Argentine litiferous development.
“It is important to highlight that all the projects before their production already generate foreign investment and employment in the country, as prospecting and exploration of brines advances”, explained the economists from the Rosario Stock Exchange, who pointed out that “until now only talking about direct employment. If we add the volume of suppliers and indirect employment, the contribution of lithium to the NOA region is even more important.”
They also remarked that “the global demand for lithium It is a key opportunity for Argentina, and it should be an incentive to allow the sector to continue producing and exporting added value.”
“As long as the investment path continues to progress and the conditions for deepening market development continue to exist, Argentine lithium hopes to advance even further and consolidate its enormous contribution to the Argentine economy“, they concluded.