The United States has chosen to strengthen ties with Argentina as the South American nation becomes an increasingly appealing investment prospect for critical minerals like lithium.
Representatives from the Argentine Chamber of Mining Companies met with U.S. Ambassador Brian A. Nichols, other members of the American Embassy and a series of mining companies in Buenos Aires last week. They discussed the state of the mining industry and mutually beneficial opportunities that could be realized through cooperation, “placing Argentina as a strategic actor.”
The companies with officials present at the meeting were Arcadium Lithium plc (NYSE: ALTM) (ASX: LTM), the industry leader Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), the junior Lake Resources NL (ASX: LKE) (OTC: LLKKF) and the lithium extraction systems provider Lilac Solutions.
Members of Argentina’s government have been travelling the world to promote the country’s mining industry to potential investors. The Israeli company XtraLit just agreed to invest US$104 million in the nation’s lithium sector during a meeting with Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs Diana Mondino. She visited Israel alongside President Javier Milei and other officials last week.
The week prior, Argentina’s Mining Secretary Flavia Royon and governors from the nation’s lithium-producing provinces met with German Parliament members in Berlin. That meeting was followed by discussions with the European Commission in Brussels regarding critical minerals in Argentina.
Royon steps down over pressure from Milei
Argentina is now looking for a new mining secretary. Milei recently said that Royon wasn’t in alignment with his government’s goals.
“The inherited economic crisis and the current historical moment require public officials committed to the modernization, simplification and de-bureaucratization of the state,” Milei’s office said via X Friday concerning its desire for her resignation.
Royon responded by saying, “I am not going to question the president’s decision, it is his cabinet and I respect him,” on the social media platform Saturday.
Argentina’s mining sector and lithium industry in particular have become quite lucrative. The northern provinces of Jujuy, Catamarca and Salta are where the nation produces the battery metal from its rich brine resources underground.
Analysts have predicted that the nation’s lithium industry will grow immensely in the coming years. The commodity’s currently low price is not expected to impact that growth either.
Major influences in the sector include Arcadium, Albemarle, South Korea’s Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) (KRX: 005490), Lithium Americas (Argentina) Corp. (TSX: LAAC) (NYSE: LAAC) and Eramet S.A. (EPA: ERA).
Juniors expected to grow with the country’s industry include NOA Lithium Brines Inc. (TSX-V: NOAL), Lithium South Development Corporation (TSX-V: LIS) (OTCQB: LISMF) (Frankfurt: OGPQ) and Portofino Resources Inc. (TSX-V: POR) (OTCQB: PFFOF).
Lithium South Development Corporation is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage