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 UAE Mining Firm to Launch Lithium Extraction Project in Argentina


UAE Mining Firm to Launch Lithium Extraction Project in Argentina

After two years of negotiations between the government of Catamarca province in Argentina and a foreign consortium, the UAE-based United Mining Projects Corporation (UMPC) said that it will commence an ambitious lithium extraction development plan in north west region of Catamarca.

UMPC is a global engineering company from the UAE, specialising in developing solutions for the mining industry and in 2022, representatives from UMPC held several meetings with officials from Catamarca to discuss potential investment in lithium projects.

The project aims not only to extract lithium but also to process it further to enhance the product’s value, leading to new job creation for the residents of the province.

UMPC’s CEO Bradley Pielscticker emphasised the company’s commitment to implementing a project that aims to improve the economic situation in the region.

It may be recalled that Argentina is part of lithium triangle, an area that covers the north of the country, north of Chile and south of Bolivia, where an estimated 65% of the world’s lithium reserves in its purest state are located.

Third Largest Reserves

Among the three countries Argentina owns around 10% of the total reserves of lithium which is used to produce batteries for cell phones, tablets, watches, but also in other industries such as glass and ceramics, greases and the pharmaceutical.

With such huge deposits, Argentina is ranked the fourth largest lithium producer in the world, the second in resources and the third in terms of reserves, with exports that last year exceeded $500 million, with a year-on-year growth of 84% and representing 23% of total mining exports.

In fact, five lithium projects are being developed in Argentina and they are expected to enter production stage in Jujuy, Salta and Catamarca and another 30 mines are in advance exploration stages for the medium and long term. With all these developments, Argentina’s mining exports are expected to reach $8.6 billion by 2025 marking an increase of more than 100% for the industry.

Huge Investment

UMPC, which also operates in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, will invest $550 million till 2028 for the lithium project spread over in 9,000 hectares in Rio Grande Sur, Catamarca to build the necessary infrastructure that will support mining production in the region.

The project is expected to create 700 jobs during this construction phase, and 200 more in the production stage and it is estimated that the impact for the local economy of around $168 million.

India Joins Race

The Indian government also signed an agreement to acquire five lithium brine blocks for exploration and development in Argentina in January this year.

The agreement was signed between Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) and Catamarca Minera Y Energética Sociedad Del Estado (CAMYEN), a state-owned mining and energy company in the Argentine province of Catamarca.

KABIL will start exploration and development of five lithium brine blocks — Cortadera-I, Cortadera-VII, Cortadera-VIII, Cateo-2022-01810132 and Cortadera-VI — covering an area of about 15,703 hectares in the Catamarca province.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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