The first quarter of next year will be a busy one for miner Eramet, which has confirmed it will restart construction at its Argentina lithium plant – work that has been halted for more than 18 months.
As part of its fast-track into an energy metals transition and to strike on growth and demand momentum, the French company said the start date early next year will allow for operations to be commissioned by its target date of early 2024.
The facility has been idle since April 2020, when work stopped due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eramet, which holds a 50.1% interest in the project, will control the asset and also retain its operational management. Partner Tsingshan, with its 49.9% holding, will finance its construction.
“The size of the deposit will enable further capacity expansion to be considered through the construction of other similar plants by the two partners,” Eramet said.
Also noteworthy: Eramet will become the first European company to develop sustainable, large-scale lithium production.
“We take pride in this project and see an opportunity for Europe’s sovereignty to secure tomorrow’s critical metals,” said Christel Bories, CEO and group chair.
“Since the early phases of the project in 2019, the teams have remained highly committed, preserving the assets and maintaining strong relationships with all stakeholders. We are now ready to engage the site’s development in the best conditions with initial production expected from 2024.”
In addition to lithium, Eramet also mines manganese, nickel, mineral sands and cobalt.