The promise of lithium

In the battle against climate change, the energy transition is widely accepted as the primary solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this transformation journey, lithium is set to play a key role. It is projected that lithium production will need to increase by 13 to 40 times by 2040 to achieve the goals of the energy transition. In this context, the relevance of our country cannot be overstated.

Argentina holds the third position in global reserves of this mineral and is the world’s second-largest producer of lithium from brines. Recent investments in this sector have consolidated our country’s leading role in the present and future supply of the mineral.

Despite these achievements, the exploitation of lithium is not risk-free, as it carries potential negative impacts on both the environment and local communities. Oddly enough, the discussion rarely delves into the prospect this exploitation holds for fostering productive and technological capabilities, as well as for decentralizing development in the Northwest region, home to these reserves.

The question thus arises: Is it possible to boost the growth of this industry while minimizing its negative impacts? What is the future of local lithium production? This series of papers proposes a comprehensive and long-term approach. It explores the regulatory framework and promotional policies required to strengthen  and deepen the contribution of mining to federal development. It sets out guidelines for addressing the social and environmental governance of the resource in a strategic and sustainable manner. Finally, it proposes actionable strategies to use lithium as a platform for national and regional development.