Jujuy, the Argentine province that forms part of South America's so-called lithium triangle, is in talks with four potential global partners to develop new brine deposits, Felipe Albornoz, president of provincial energy and mining company Jemse, has revealed in an interview.
Jemse, which has high-altitude acreage, is in talks with companies from Australia, China and Canada. At least one of these companies has an interest in electric vehicles and is looking to secure lithium supplies for batteries.
Albornoz hopes a deal can be struck next year. The projects would be entirely new and would require a total investment of about US$700 million.
Jemse has an 8.5 percent stake in two projects: a joint venture between Orocobre and Toyota Tsusho that already produces lithium carbonate; and a joint venture between Lithium Americas and Ganfeng that will start production next year.
In a joint interview, Jujuy's Minister of Economic Development and Production, Exequiel Lello Ivacevich, and Jujuy's Secretary of Regional Integration and International Relations, Pablo Palomares, said that provincial authorities will meet on 13 December with representatives of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD.
China's Hanaq is looking to reactivate other mines in Jujuy after recently committing to an investment of around US$50 million in the abandoned Mina Providencia, which contains silver, zinc and other minerals, Lello Ivacevich said.
by Jonathan Gilbert, Bloomberg