(Bloomberg) — China’s latest investments in South America’s lithium triangle show the challenges for US efforts to counter the dominance of the world’s second-largest economy in key parts of battery metal supply chains.
On Monday, Chile unveiled a deal that gives Tsingshan Holding Group preferential lithium prices for a project to make value-added products in the South American nation. It was announced as part of President Gabriel Boric’s trip to China, where he met with Xiang Guangda, the metal group’s billionaire owner.
On the same day, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez was also in China, where he met with the head of Tibet Summit Resources Co. to discuss the firm’s $2.2 billion in lithium investments in Salta province.
China is making further inroads into the so-called lithium triangle of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, which accounts for more than half of global resources. In doing so, the Asian giant is helping those countries propel themselves further down the electric-vehicle supply chain by leveraging their vast mineral wealth.
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