Argentina mulls charging lithium miners contribution to boost infrastructure

The Olaroz salt flat, in northwestern Argentina, hosts reserves estimated at 6.4 million tons of lithium carbonate. (Image by Butterfly austral, Wikimedia Commons.)

Argentina’s mining secretariat said on Friday the governors of the country’s lithium-producing provinces are drawing up plans for lithium miners to make a “special contribution” so state coffers can benefit from extraordinary profits.

The funds would be used primarily for productive infrastructure, the secretariat said after the governors of the provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Catamarca attended a round table meeting on the white metal, coveted by manufacturers of electronics and batteries for electric vehicles.

A resolution for the “special lithium contribution” is set to be finalized by Oct. 30.

Argentina is world’s fourth-largest lithium producer and sits on the so-called “lithium triangle” spanning its South American neighbors Chile and Bolivia, believed to hold more than half the world’s lithium reserves.

The South American nation has three lithium production sites: Fenix, owned by US firm Livent, Olaroz, majority-owned by Australia’s Allkem Ltd and Cauchari-Olaroz, co-owned by China’s Ganfeng and Canada’s Lithium Americas.

(By Lucila Sigal and Sarah Morland; Editing by Alistair Bell)


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