According to a report released by Argentina’s mining secretary on Tuesday, the country’s lithium exports amounted to $233 million during the first three months of the year, reflecting a significant surge of 133% compared to the same period in the previous year. March was a particularly strong month for the export of this white metal, with a remarkable 93% increase in sales from March 2022, bringing the total sales to $91 million.
In fact, last month, it constituted 27% of all mining exports from Argentina. In the first quarter of this year, China and Japan were the top two importers of Argentine lithium, each accounting for 31% of the total, followed by the United States with 13%, and South Korea with 12%, as revealed by the mining secretary of Argentina.
Although there are 38 active lithium projects in the country, only two are currently producing: the Salar de Olaroz mine in the Jujuy province, majority-owned by Allkem Ltd. from Australia, and the Fenix mine in the Catamarca province, owned by Livent Corporation from the United States.
Argentina, known for its agricultural strength, has been enticing global mining firms to invest in lithium by offering tax incentives and security guarantees. Apart from Allkem Ltd. and Livent, other international companies mining lin Argentina include Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. from China, Pluspetrol Resources from the Netherlands, Eramet from France, Lithium Americas from Canada, and Rio Tinto Group from the United Kingdom and Australia.
Argentina is the fourth-largest producer of lithium in the world and is part of the “lithium triangle,” which comprises the largest global reserves of the mineral, along with Bolivia and Chile.