The Minister of Mining of Catamarca, Fernanda Ávila, provided Télam with the details of the treaty for the creation of the Lithium Mining Region, which will cover the producing districts of northern Argentina, highlighted the role of YPF, and listed the main projects in the province.



03-10-2021 | 11:59

Catamarca will host a new meeting of the  Lithium Board on Tuesday, in which provincial and national officials and business executives will participate and in which a treaty will be signed for the creation of the  Lithium Mining Region, which will include the producing districts from northern Argentina.


In dialogue with Télam, the Minister of Mining of Catamarca,  Fernanda Ávila, specified that the meeting will take place in the tourist village of El Rodeo, located in the Department of Ambato, about 40 kilometers from the provincial capital.


“The signing of the treaty points to the idea of ​​reaffirming the original domain over the natural resources that the provinces have and that fortunately in the lithium seminar the Secretary of Mining,  Alberto Hensel made it very clear,” said Ávila.


The official from Catamarca alluded in this way to the statement made by Hensel last week, in which she denied that the possibility of nationalizing mining enterprises is being analyzed.


In this line, the minister assured “we must continue working on this idea of ​​generating conditions of reciprocity for the strengthening of the region and perhaps advance a little more in some line of direct action.”


In relation to the other axes that will be discussed during the meeting, Ávila was optimistic that more details about the  YPF Lithium project will be known during the meeting.


The Lithium Mining Region will encompass the producing districts of northern Argentina.

The official was interested in the possibility that YPF wants to “enter the lithium technology race and start working and partnering with private companies and with the states in each of the provinces. “


The minister specified that invitations were sent to the president of the YPF board of directors,  Pablo González, for the meeting; the Secretary of Mining,  Alberto Hensel; the Minister of Productive Development; Matias Kulfas; the Minister of Science and Technology,  Daniel Filmus; and the Secretary of Provinces,  Silvina Batakis, among other officials.


In this framework, one of the tables of the meeting will be destined to the civil servants of the national Government; another will be for provincial suppliers and entrepreneurs linked to the sector.


“For the closure, we await the words of the governors and the signing of an Interprovincial treaty to create the Lithium Mining region, which was announced by the Governor of Salta,  Gustavo Sáenz, and which is being worked on,” Ávila added.


In another section of the dialogue, the head of the Catamarcan mining portfolio also referred to the moment the region is experiencing in terms of the potential offered by lithium.


“We have a great future ahead of us, we are at a historic moment for the region. During the lithium seminar in South America it became clear, we have to be protagonists in the energy transition that we are experiencing”, he stated.


The minister explained that Catamarca has around 15 lithium projects in different stages; from initial prospecting to the exploitation stage and highlighted the most important ones.


“The main projects in the province are the  Fénix project (Salar del Hombre Muerto), which is being exploited and expanded by the  US mining company Livent; the  Sal de Vida (Dead Man’s Salt Flat) project operated by  Galaxy Lithium, which recently announced its merger with Orocobre, and that is about to start the exploitation stage”, he said.


Provincial and national officials and business executives will participate in the meeting.



“We also have the  Sal de Oro project (Salar del Hombre Muerto)  operated by  Posco, which is close to starting exploitation. This is the project we have in the area bordering Salta, where the governors of that province and Catamarca recently signed an agreement to work jointly between the two mining authorities to approve permits and carry out controls,” explained the minister.


Finally, Ávila highlighted “the  Tres Quebradas (Fiambalá) project operated by  Liex  , which is in the stage of approval of the exploitation environmental impact report”.