Eramet SA agreed to restart the development of a mothballed lithium plant project in Argentina during the first quarter of 2022 under a partnership with China-based steel company Tsingshan Holding Group Co. Ltd., with commissioning eyed in early 2024.
Tsingshan will acquire a 49.9% stake in the project by providing up to $375 million in financing. French metals company Eramet will own the remaining 50.1% stake in the plant, which will have an annual production of 24,000 tonnes of lithium.
The restart decision is in line with the strong market growth for lithium, a key metal used in electric vehicle batteries, Eramet said Nov. 8. The company paused the project in April 2020 due to uncertainty linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eramet and Tsingshan operate the Weda Bay nickel joint venture in Indonesia, with Eramet owning a 38.7% stake and Tsingshan owning a 51.3% stake. PT Aneka Tambang Tbk holds the remaining 10%.