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Lithium value-add faces obstacles in Latin America

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Outlook for the "lithium triangle".


South Korean steel maker POSCO announced in June that it is pulling out of a joint project with Samsung to manufacture lithium battery parts in Chile. POSCO’s exit came despite an earlier agreement giving it guaranteed supplies of lithium at preferential prices for 27 years.


  • Some lithium battery factories will be built in Latin America in coming years, but there will be questions over long-term profitability.
  • Locating some battery manufacturing in lithium triangle countries may come to be seen as the price to be paid to secure mining rights.
  • Large-scale battery production will remain concentrated in major EV assembly facilities in China, North America and Europe.
  • Lithium triangle countries will be under ongoing pressure to balance lighter touch regulation with environmental protection.

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