Russian state-controlled firm enters lithium project in Argentina

The Tolillar lithium project is located in one of the last remaining undeveloped salars in Salta Province, Argentina. (Image courtesy of Alpha Lithium.)

Uranium One, a subsidiary of Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom, has signed an agreement to form a joint venture to develop a Tolillar lithium deposit in Argentina to diversify its business, it said in a statement on Monday.

The South American country, part of the region’s so-called lithium triangle, is trying to ramp up production of the metal, demand for which is surging worldwide due to its use in batteries that power electric vehicles. Many consumers and governments scour the world for it.

“Lithium is an essential material for the provision of resources for the green economy of the future. The development of this line of business is strategically important for Rosatom,” Uranium One said in a statement. “We are currently evaluating other rare and important metal deposits.”

As part of the agreement, Uranium One will spend $30 million to buy a 15% stake in Alpha One Lithium, which owns a project firm holding right to develop the deposit. Alpha Lithium Corporation will keep the remaining 85% stake in the project.

Once a bankable feasibility study is complete, Uranium One will have an option to raise its stake in the project to 50% for $185 million and secure the right to purchase 100% of the project’s future production.

The 27,500-hectare deposit is located in the Argentine province of Salta.

(By Polina Devitt; Editing by Mark Porter)


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