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China, Argentina deepening ties beyond mining

Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Image from Casa Rosada, Twitter).

Following Zijin Mining Group’s recent announcement of a $380 million investment to build a lithium carbonate plant in Argentina and ​​of upcoming investments in gold and copper projects, over the weekend Chinese president Xi Jinping said his country and the South American nation are deepening their financial ties.

In detail, official communiqués from both countries report on a meeting between Xi and President Alberto Fernández in Beijing in which the former agreed to provide Argentina with more than $23.7 billion in financing, of which $14 billion were already approved for infrastructure projects and the remainder will be decided for the Belt and Road initiative.

Xi also told Fernández that both countries should implement existing hydropower and railway projects and deepen cooperation in trade, industry, infrastructure, nuclear energy, investment and anti-epidemic efforts.

The idea of promoting green and sustainable development projects, as well as in initiatives related to the digital economy, was also mentioned in the agreement signed between Beijing and Buenos Aires.

Argentina sits within South America’s “lithium triangle” along with Chile and Bolivia. It is the world’s fourth-largest producer of the battery metal and the ninth-largest producer of silver. It also hosts uranium reserves estimated at 30,000 tonnes of proven resources.

(With files from Bloomberg)

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