Image credits: Roberto Sorin
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News Article

Meetings Begin to Develop a Lithium Value Chain in Latin America

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 07/26/2022 - 17:50

The Argentinean and Chilean governments agreed to hold a meeting with the Bolivian government to regionally develop lithium opportunities. Although no other countries have been invited to the meeting, experts say key Latin American countries like Mexico could also become a part of the strategic cooperation due to their resources, technology and geopolitical advantages.

Last week at a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and Chile’s Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola agreed to discuss the best way to jointly develop the lithium value chain, which ranges from exploration to the manufacturing of batteries. Both governments highlighted the importance of inviting the Bolivian government, since the three countries together hold 65 percent of the world's lithium resources.

The Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG) emphasized that if the Peruvian, Mexican and Brazilian potential reserves are added, the region holds over 68 percent of global reserves of the white gold. CELAG said the region’s resources reshuffle the global economic power balance regarding the energy transition and represent a good source of income for Latin American economies. 

Moreover, CELAG stressed the importance of negotiating beneficial prices as a bloc through the creation of the Latin American Organization of Lithium Exporting Countries (OLEC), which must be formed by the key regional producers, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile as well as by Peru, Mexico and Brazil. The latter three do not have proven relevant reserves but could be important members due to their access to technology and geopolitical advantages.

Mexico’s President López Obrador has highlighted that the government has already established communications with the governments of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia to work together on the development of a regional lithium plan. According to the president, the experiences of countries like Bolivia will help Mexico develop the state company that will oversee the mineral’s exploitation. However, Armando Alatorre, President, CIMMGM, told MBN that Bolivia's experience with lithium is extremely limited since the country has not produced much.

Until now, the Mexican government has not presented its plan to produce a lithium value chain within the country. Nevertheless, the president said that the presentation of the name of the state-owned lithium company, which is expected in the coming days, is the first step. In addition, he announced that the lithium concessions granted to private companies will soon be reviewed.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Forbes, MBN
Photo by:   Roberto Sorin
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst