On May 30, Argentina time, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ganfeng Mariana Salt Lake Project was held. Gustavo Sáenz, Governor of Salta Province, Wang Xiaoshen, Vice Chairman of Ganfeng Lithium, Luo Xiaofeng, General Manager of Litio Minera Argentina S.A and other leaders attended the event. The Chinese Ambassador to Argentina Zou Xiaoli congratulated the start of the project through video.
The Mariana project is located in Salta Province, Argentina, with a total lithium resource of about 8.12 million tons of LCE. Ganfeng holds 100% equity of the project. At the ceremony, Ganfeng announced that it will invest about US$600 million to build a lithium chloride production base with an annual output of 20,000 tons. The project will create more than 1,700 local jobs.
"Mariana Lithium Salt Lake Project will help the local industry upgrade and employment growth, and promote the cooperation between the two countries in the field of new energy and green development to a new height." Ambassador Zou Xiaoli said.
Continue to improve raw material supply to pave the way for energy transition
Due to the increasingly severe global climate problem, the energy transition strategy of transitioning from fossil energy to renewable energy has been recognized by the vast majority of countries in the world. At present, the transformation direction with commercialization capability mainly focuses on the replacement of internal combustion engines by power batteries and the replacement of fossil fuels by wind power. Among them, whether it is power battery or clean energy power generation, lithium battery is the main energy storage device.
As the core element in lithium batteries, the importance of lithium is self-evident. According to the forecast of Minmetals Securities, the global demand for lithium resources will reach 1.6 million tons of LCE in 2025. How to ensure the stable supply of raw materials is a common challenge faced by the entire industry.
In recent years, Ganfeng has continued its upstream deployment and invested in lithium resources covering salt lakes, spodumene, clay and other types in Argentina, Mexico, Mali, China and other places - aiming to use its years of experience to provide local project development and construction. Acceleration enables resources to become products in a shorter period of time and becomes a new driving force for the energy transition.
The Mariana project, where the groundbreaking ceremony was held this time, has officially obtained the approval of the environmental impact report issued by the Salta provincial government in Argentina in 2021, and the initial construction has begun. Previously, Ganfeng conducted several surveys on the project, and the controlled and inferred lithium resources increased from 1.87 million tons of LCE in 2017 to 5.25 million tons of LCE in 2019, and the controlled and inferred lithium resources reached 6.85 million tons in 2021. LCE, the total lithium resources reached 8.12 million tons of LCE.
Ganfeng's other salt lake project, Cauchari, in Argentina is also planned to be put into operation this year. The first phase will form an annual production capacity of 40,000 tons of lithium carbonate.
Seek the balance of environment, economy and ecology, and build a global green lithium project
"We hope to create a global model of sustainable development," said Salta Governor Sáenz at the ceremony. "The Mariana project is a milestone for Salta and Argentina's mining industry. Ganfeng has made great achievements in technology and sustainable development. great contribution."
In order to achieve the sustainability of the Mariana project, Ganfeng introduced many measures at the beginning of the project design.
In terms of energy conservation and emission reduction, Ganfeng has built a 120MW photovoltaic power station around the project, so as to realize all the use of renewable energy in the project, which can reduce 157,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. On the other hand, Ganfeng makes full use of the plateau terrain of the Mariana project, and completes resource extraction by means of sunlight evaporation; during this period, water is recycled.
In terms of ecological protection, Ganfeng has set up a natural ecological reserve around the salt lake to impose strict space and time limits on human activity areas to protect the breeding and rest of animals such as Andean flamingos. And regularly conduct environmental monitoring on the surrounding areas of the project, sampling and analyzing vegetation, fauna, lakes and swamps, air quality, noise, soil, and water quality, so as to maintain a good state of the environment.
In terms of community economy, Ganfeng will vigorously develop local infrastructure construction, and give priority to the employment of local residents; provide employment-oriented training to local residents, and form a talent training system with local schools to form a steady stream of talent output.
Ganfeng has always been seeking the optimal balance between environment, economy and ecology, so that human beings and the earth's ecology can coexist harmoniously on the premise of maintaining development. Mariana is a microcosm of the sustainable construction and operation of Ganfeng's overseas projects. In the future, Ganfeng will continue to practice social responsibility and sustainable development concepts, introduce more advanced concepts and related technologies, and contribute more to the global carbon reduction cause.