France’s Eramet gives go-ahead to lithium project in Argentina (Reuters U.S. – June 24, 2019)

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) – Eramet has approved the development of a lithium mine in Argentina as the French group pursues a shift towards minerals used to power electric vehicles to meet burgeoning demand.

The miner expects to invest 525 million euros ($597 million) in the Centenario deposit with the aim of producing 24,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year in a first phase that could start at the end of 2021, it said on Monday.

The estimates were in line with previous guidance given by the company earlier this year. A final investment decision would be made at the earliest in the fourth quarter of this year once financing has been obtained, it said in a statement.

Eramet shares were up 2% by 0834 GMT, one of the top performers on Paris’ SBF-120 equity index.

The Centenario lithium deposit contains drainable resources of nearly 10 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent and the expected production costs for Eramet would be among the most competitive in the sector, added Eramet.

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