Certain provinces in Argentina, namely Catamarca, Jujuy, and Salta, have decided to play a bigger role in the lithium industry. The three provinces have teamed up in order to establish and regulate the workflow of mining companies in the country under a group aptly called the “lithium board.”
According to Mining.com, the newly established board by these provinces will focus its attention on redefining Argentina’s mining sector by establishing environment-friendly and sustainable practices. This includes toxic waste management, water-quality tests, and other mining remediation techniques that would lessen the projects’ environmental impact. It will also modify the process of how companies will obtain their licenses.
Argentina is one of the top producers of the white mineral, and as such, the country’s mining companies hold their fair share of projects annually. Without any regulation, lithium mining could have an adverse impact on the country, and that is what the lithium board is trying to avoid as it looks to pursue the “lithium dream.”
IPS News reports that Argentina holds 13.8 percent of the global lithium reserves and that it is looking to capitalize on these reserves. Currently, the country only has two major petroleum mining projects running, but it manages to produce 40,000 tons annually. At any moment, it could turn itself into a major exporter of the material commonly referred to as the white petroleum.
According to a data by the Secretariat of Mines, Argentina has a whopping 873,000 hectares prepared for extraction of lithium. Backing this huge landmass of the mineral are 53 mining projects. By 2022, the lithium mining industry is expected to contribute roughly $7.7 billion in Argentina.