The Korean group Posco Holdings an investment of 741 million dollars anticipated which planned to finalize next year at a new lithium plant in Argentina to “stabilize supply” amid growing global demand for electric cars, the ore’s main destination. In addition to the local plant, he announced another in his home country to complete the lithium process.
The lithium carbonate factory will begin construction later this year in the Salar del Hombre Muerto, the mine that Posco manages between Salta and Catamarca. On the other hand, the company will build a lithium hydroxide factory in Korea in the first half of 2023, which it plans to finish by the end of 2025.
With the additional investment in Argentina, Posco aims to have an annual production capacity of 25,000 tons of lithium hydroxide from 2025, enough to power approximately 600,000 electric vehicles. The goal is to increase this capacity to 100,000 tons in 2028.
The lithium carbonate produced at the plant in Argentina will be sent to the plant in Korea to produce hydroxide, one of the basic materials for the manufacture of cathodes, which represent 40% of the production cost of the battery for electric cars.
Posco was already investing $ 830 million in a lithium hydroxide factory in Argentina. In 2018, the company acquired the mineral rights of Salar del Hombre Muerto from Australia’s Galaxy Resources for $ 280 million. But last year he found that the field has 13.5 million tons of lithium reserves, six times what was designed in 2018.
Posco has been operational so far a small trial facility near the lake, mining lithium and testing commercial viability.
The group aims to expand its lithium production capacity to 300,000 tons by 2030. Its goal is to become one of the top three lithium manufacturing companies in the world for that date.
Posco was born in 1968 in the city of Pohang, South Korea, and is currently among the five largest steel companies in the country and among the four largest in the world.
It is present in 53 countries and 63,000 employees worldwide, with interests in various business lines and sectors such as steel, automotive, construction, renewable and non-renewable energy, infrastructure, agriculture, mining and information technology.
In the first eight months of the year, Argentine mining exports totaled $ 2,475 million, of which the 16% corresponded to lithium. This mineral was in third place as an export engine, behind gold and silver, but in July and August it supplanted silver and took second place in overseas shipments.
A total of $ 47.1 million of lithium was exported in August, which resulted in export amounts growing 191% year-on-year and set an all-time record for exports that month.