Eramet Increases Lithium Target for Second Phase of Argentina Development
Eramet Increases Lithium Target for Second Phase of Argentina Development

Eramet Increases Lithium Target for Second Phase of Argentina Development

  • 23-Feb-2023 2:49 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

Europe: Eramet, a major producer of Lithium, has upped its target for production from its large deposit in Argentina. This is part of their response to the rising demand for electric vehicle batteries. The increased output marks the potential second phase in meeting this demand.

The mining company recently announced their plans to begin producing Lithium in early 2024, from the Centenario deposit it is developing with Chinese Steel group Tsingshan. Initially, production will be at a rate of 24,000 tonnes of Lithium carbonate equivalent annually.

Eramet has announced that it is aiming to triple its capacity target compared with its first phase, following an earlier indication in October that it was considering doubling the objective.

"We have already launched a study that should allow us quickly to triple annual production capacity," Eramet's Chair and Chief Executive Officer Christel Bories stated.

Eramet plans to take an investment decision this year in order to expand their capacity. The expansion would add 50,000 tonnes over the course of 2025 and 2026, bringing the total capacity up to 75,000 tonnes by 2027.

Eramet, a French mining and metallurgy company, is teaming up with Germany's BASF to explore the potential of producing battery-grade nickel and cobalt from ore extracted from Eramet's Weda Bay mine in Indonesia. According to their chief executive Christel Bories, an investment decision could be made by the end of this year. This has been pushed back slightly from their initial plan of deciding in the first half of 2023, as they needed more time to make progress on technical and permit work.

Eramet reported a surge in profits for 2022 but cautioned that this year's core earnings are expected to be lower due to market prices, energy costs and raw material costs. The company declined to confirm the Indonesian authorities' estimate of a 2.4 billion euros ($2.55 billion) investment, although noting that the figure was comparable with other projects.

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