Korean steelmaker Posco to invest $4 billion in Argentine lithium project

South Korean steelmaker Posco announced yesterday it will invest US$4 million in a new lithium mining project in Argentina, as part of the company’s plans to build a world leading battery chemicals business.

Posco will invest in the Salar de Hombre Muerto project, located within a salt flat at the border between the Northern Salta and Catamarca provinces in Northwestern Argentina. The region forms part of Latin America’s ‘lithium triangle’, including Bolivia and Chile, which is home to the world’s largest reserves.

The firm expects to initially produce 25,000 tonnes per year (tpy) of lithium hydroxide at the project, before reaching 100,000 tpy at full capacity, a Posco spokesperson told Reuters.

The project’s export value will total $260 million per year over the next 30 years, according to a statement from President President Alberto Fernandez’s office.

Posco has committed to a number of mining ventures in recent years, including a partnership with Rio Tinto aimed at decarbonising the steel sector, plus an investment and offtake agreement with graphite developer Black Rock Mining, as part of its ambition to build a global battery chemicals business.

@RGNonline