Copper and lithium, the minerals that the world comes to look for in this region

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THE economic stabilityas well as the need to deal with social problems In each of the countries of the region, these are the essential conditions that mining needs for its development. This is the opinion of Oscar Vera Gargurevich, Minister of Energy and Mines of Peru, who -at the invitation of the European Union- took part in the Arminera exhibition which is held to date at La Rural.

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In the middle of the hustle and bustle between the stands occupied by the various companies in the sector – mainly foreign ones – commented the Peruvian official, in a chat with clarion, the debate focused on issues that have to do with the future of the business, such as the change in the energy matrix. That is the transition from the use of fossil minerals to those renewable or strategic ones such as copper or lithium. Furthermore, on how to create synergies to obtain added value to the products which, in the case of Peru, represent the 60% of exports and contributes 16% to the country’s GDP.

Peru is the world’s second largest exporter of copper, behind Chile. It exports 2.5 million tons annually. And Argentina is third on that podium. Since copper is an excellent conductor of energy, it is in great demand – like lithium – for electromobility: “an electric car requires four times more copper than an ordinary car“explains one of Vera’s collaborators, present in the conversation.

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“We have to prepare for this energy transition, add value to our inputs to attract more investors and ultimately because they will be very well priced.” Despite the recent ups and downs that the prices of these raw materials have had, according to the official, the medium and long-term trend is that “will continue to rise” due to a demand that will be increasing, especially in the cases of lithium and copper.

In Peru, the so-called “White gold” It’s just starting to be explored. “There are indications but you have to keep looking,” says Vera.

Arminera 2023 takes place over three days with an agenda of activities, talks and conferences with a focus on topics such as the economy, innovation, gender, sustainability and the environment. More than 200 exhibitors representing mining companies and their suppliers of products and services.

In the morning, again as part of the exhibition that was set up at the Palermo Fair, the director of European Union Cooperation for Latin America, Félix Fernández-Shaw, stated -in line with the Peruvian minister- that the countries from the Old Continent are clearly interested in supporting the work that is taking place in Latin America and, especially in Argentina (the world’s fourth largest producer of lithium) in terms of energy transition.

Fernández-Shaw, in the meeting also attended by the Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royón, underlined that these investments must be productive to generate an industrial policy, social resources and professional training so that Argentina can be included in the chain of global value.

“We are thinking about developing various financial lines of support to Argentina and to European companies that want to invest here in hydrogen, lithium, renewable energies and transmission lines,” added the director of the European Cooperation Agency.

According to data maintained by the Argentine Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs (CAEM), mining is the sixth largest export complex and the second sector that generates the largest amount of net foreign exchange in the country, with figures of increase exports which in 2022 reached almost 4,000 million dollars.

Source: Clarin

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