South America’s Lithium Triangle contains more than half of the world’s reserves of the critical metal that is used in batteries, and China is looking to carve out a bigger piece of the pie
Just days after Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez signed his country up for China’s Belt and Road Initiative during a high-profile trip to Beijing this month, the spot price of lithium metal in the Chinese market reached 2 million yuan (US$315,000) per tonne for the first time – more than four times what it cost a year ago.
The two countries happen to be the world’s major players in the supply chain of the metal – an essential material used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Argentina is located in a region with the highest concentrations of the mineral – South America’s so-called Lithium Triangle, which contains more than half of the world’s reserves – while Chinese companies are the biggest buyers and investors of lithium mines around the globe and refine two-thirds of the world’s lithium.
As major economies are all aiming to shift to electric cars in the global fight against climate change, the silvery-white alkali metal has been increasingly called “the new oil” and “white gold”.
For the rest of this article: https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3167615/chinas-lithium-quest-fuelled-business-or-politics-and-how-far