EU Nears Critical-Materials Agreements With Argentina and Chile – by Jorge Valero and Alberto Nardell(Bloomberg News – May 17, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — The European Union is working on deals with Argentina and Chile that will widen its access to critical minerals and metals such as lithium needed for electric-vehicle batteries as part of its goal of creating a less carbon-intensive economy.

Preliminary memorandums of understanding could be signed during the next four months, according to the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, which added that further partnerships are possible in South America and beyond.

This is the latest effort by the EU to secure access to resources that are crucial for its clean-energy and digital transition, and to reduce its dependence on a handful of suppliers that include China. It follows agreements with Canada, Ukraine, Namibia and Kazakhstan. Brussels is also in talks with Norway and Greenland.

“The strategic partnerships will allow both sides to jointly develop investment projects on sustainable and resilient raw materials value chains, while specifically enhancing collaboration on research and innovation,” a commission spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

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