ECLAC highlights the importance of a lithium agenda for Latin America

Jul, 07, 2023 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202326

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Thursday published a report called “Extraction and industrialization of lithium. Opportunities and challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean,” recommending the region’s countries devise a productive development agenda around lithium to promote its extraction for the benefit of economic activities directly and indirectly related to the mineral.

The Santiago-based agency also highlighted the role of the region’s lithium-producing countries (mainly Argentina, Brazil, and Chile) in the global value chain of lithium-ion batteries. It concluded that public policy guidelines can contribute to a productive development agenda around lithium, as well as to the industrialization of this and other minerals in clean technologies for energy transition and electromobility.

“From the perspective of the States, this requires policies and regulations that favor the creation of public goods, the development of capacities and soft and hard infrastructures, and the mobilization and direction of the necessary resources,” ECLAC said.

Lithium is an irreplaceable input for the production of lithium-ion batteries, a key technology for the decarbonization of transport and the storage of energy generated from renewable sources, it added.

The mineral, therefore, has the potential to contribute to the economic development of countries through a positive impact from increased value creation, i.e., increased output, exports, employment, and tax revenue, the study also noted while explaining that, while the context of energy transition and the expansion of electromobility present opportunities, they also pose challenges for countries in the region that are rich in lithium resources.

The region has an important participation in the first stage of the lithium battery value chain (extraction/processing). But in the production stages of precursors, cathodes/anodes, cells, and batteries, it is China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Europe that lead the way, the report warned.

Source: MercoPress

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