At a global level, the progress towards electromobility as a measure to improve emissions and combat climate change is undeniable. However, the discussion focuses in the speed of this change both due to the public policies that promote it and the availability of critical inputs for the manufacturing of the main components.
When talking about electromobility, it is common to refer only to the electric car, where the battery, one of its key components, is based, in part, on lithium products. However, electromobility encompasses a much broader ecosystem, which includes not only mobility, but also its infrastructure. Copper emerges as a critical and at the moment irreplaceable mineral in this field. Lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earths are also critical components of many of today’s fast-growing clean energy technologies.
Argentina has latent potential in this field but has been affected by economic instability and long-term policy inconsistency. Despite this, he has developed mining activities shyly with 17 projects currently in operation out of which 14 are gold and silver while 3 are lithium. The lack of infrastructure is another obstacle to activity as every mining project must consider developing roads, electrical network installation, renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and power grids among others to guarantee efficient operation under international quality standards while meeting goals set by the 2030 Agenda.
Although challenges remain high in terms of investment value and time required for off-site activities like transportation logistics multimodal nodes etc., growth has begun at least for lithium production. Argentina ranks among top five producers with a production target set at 100k tons in 2024 which will still be below Chile’s output (180K). However with six ongoing projects under construction expected to increase supply by over 100k tons different lithium products it will translate into an increase in its participation in Argentina’s total mining exports from representing just 1% ten years ago to now representing almost US$4 billion worth of shipments led by gold and silver.
Copper exploitation in Argentina is far from its full potential despite having significant reserves and world-class deposits like Los Azules (SJ), Filo del Sol (SJ) Altar (SJ) among others currently at various stages of development with average investments ranging from USD$3 billion each indicating significant demand for quality employment opportunities development supply chains complying with international standards infrastructure improvement remote areas among other things making it possible for international players like Josemaría (SJ), El Pachón (SJ), Mara (Catamarca), Taca Taca (Salta) join forces with local partners investing more than USD$12 billion over medium term on new projects adding even more value beyond their current portfolios including SJ’s Los Azules project already listed above followed by more than twenty projects across different states demonstrating Argentina’s great opportunity capitalize on investments seeking new projects where traceability of operating conditions can be met hand-in-hand with growing demand for electric vehicles worldwide .