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China's Ganfeng Lithium considers Argentine battery plant

05/17/2021 | 05:50am EDT

(Reuters) - China's Ganfeng Lithium, one of the world's biggest lithium producers, said on Monday it had signed an initial deal to explore setting up a plant to make lithium batteries in Argentina's northwestern Jujuy province.

Lithium is a key ingredient in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles. While best known as a producer of lithium chemicals, which it supplies to automakers including Tesla, Ganfeng has a subsidiary that makes lithium batteries and battery sales last year made up 23.1% of its total revenue.

The non-binding memorandum - inked with Argentina's Ministry of Productive Development and the Jujuy provincial government on Friday - will see Ganfeng consider making a move downstream in one of the countries where it has acquired interests in lithium resources.

Ganfeng is developing the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Jujuy, which partner Lithium Americas said in a presentation this month was targeting first production of battery-quality lithium carbonate in mid-2022.

The parties also agreed to look at the viability of joint development of projects as well as investment opportunities in lithium exploration and extraction, a statement from the Argentinian ministry said.

"We want to support the industrial development of Argentina to make it one of the most important lithium-producing countries in the world," Ganfeng Chairman Li Liangbin said in that statement.

Ganfeng is also pursuing a lithium brine project in Argentina's Salta province, near Jujuy, and expects to this year receive the environmental assessment permit needed to start construction.


(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / ARGENTINE PESO (EUR/ARS) 0.04% 113.7676 Delayed Quote.10.78%
GANFENG LITHIUM CO., LTD. -3.25% 119.22 End-of-day quote.17.81%
LITHIUM AMERICAS CORP. -2.52% 17.79 Delayed Quote.14.21%
TESLA, INC. 3.54% 679.82 Delayed Quote.-6.96%
US DOLLAR / ARGENTINE PESO (USD/ARS) 0.03% 95.362 Delayed Quote.13.34%
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