During his visit to The New Shcool University, President Alberto Fernández put on the table a central issue for the Argentine economy, the future of mining. He commented that lithium should be considered as “a strategic resource”.
The appreciation went unnoticed among the students, although it is relevant for the lithium industry in Argentina, where millions of dollars come from foreign investments from different countries.
The President stressed that the eventual declaration of lithium as a “strategic resource” will naturally depend on the definition of the provinces. “We are a federal country and we must respect that the resource belongs to the provinces,” he clarified. But it is clear that the eventual declaration of “strategic mineral” would imply greater regulations.
In turn, Alberto Fernández stressed that “lithium has to do with the energy of the future, but the key is that it not be exported, but rather that Argentina be a supplier of lithium batteries.” Thus, he recalled that in Chile the mineral is managed by private sectors, while in Bolivia it is nationalized. In Argentina there is a mixed system but it also works together with neighboring countries.
Alberto Fernández’s idea regarding lithium as “a strategic mineral” has to do with the global context of high volatility, where in the immediate future this type of mineral will be key.
“The pandemic ended up being a kind of veil that is drawn before everyone to expose the unjust system in which we live, the shortcomings and the structural weaknesses of the world,” the president formulated in the colloquium Global challenges: a Latin American perspective, destined to the educational community, where he also answered questions from the students.
Technology -with electromobility and the energy transition as major drivers- is today the greatest demand for global mining. With lithium in the lead, followed by copper and other metals such as silver and gold, Argentina placed itself on the international radar of that search, and has already begun to receive million-dollar investments to exploit all the resources in which the country is rich.
Canadian, North American, Chinese and Australian capital arrive to settle in different large-scale projects. All eyes are focused on the Argentine star, everyone comes for the lithium. But the domestic economic context is still not the most convenient to seduce the largest capitals. According to experts, investments in Argentina could multiply 20 times with greater exchange stability and clear long-term rules. The same goes for exports, which could go from 200 million dollars last year to 4,000 million dollars annually in lithium alone in 2027.
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