The price for lithium exports set by Argentina’s government earlier this week could limit the country’s ability to profit from the increasingly hot market for the crucial electric vehicle battery material, an industry group said Friday.
Argentina’s customs agency set a reference price of $53 per kilo for lithium carbonate exports to countries like the United States, China, Japan, Canada and Thailand in order to tackle what it called “irregularities” in the market and improve transparency.
The new measure will have a “negative impact on companies with investments in Argentina and on the development of other projects in the pipeline,” said Argentina’s Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs (CAEM).
“It is essential for the country to be able to maintain a stable framework of clear rules and legal certainty that allows the planning of investments of a productive nature,” the group said.
Argentina and neighbors Bolivia and Chile form the so-called “lithium triangle,” home to the largest reserves globally of the metal.
(By Hernán Nessi and Carolina Pulice; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)