The shift towards electromobility as a measure to combat climate change and reduce emissions is gaining momentum at a global level. However, the pace of this transition depends on several factors, including public policies that promote it and the availability of critical inputs for the manufacturing of the main components.
When discussing electromobility, it is essential to consider not only electric vehicles but also the broader ecosystem that supports them. Copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, and rare earths are all critical components of many fast-growing clean energy technologies, such as wind turbines and power grids. According to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, these minerals are vital for the development of many sustainable energy solutions.
Argentina has significant potential in this field but has been hampered by economic instability and long-term policy inconsistency. Despite having abundant reserves of copper, lithium, gold, silver, and other minerals required for clean energy technologies, Argentina has not fully capitalized on its resources due to macroeconomic uncertainty and regulatory barriers. These challenges have hindered large-scale mining projects’ advancement and development in the country.
However, there are signs that progress is being made in certain areas. For instance, lithium production in Argentina has been steadily increasing over the past few years despite being among the top five producers globally in 2024 (100k tons), still below Chile (180k). Six new projects are currently under construction at different speeds but will significantly increase lithium production once completed. This growth trend translates into an increase in Argentina’s participation in its total mining exports: from representing 1% in 2010 to 18% of almost US$4 billion exported by the sector last year.
On the other hand, copper exploitation in Argentina is lagging behind its potential due to various factors such as changes in regulations and policies that have discouraged large investments even with laws like Mining Investment Law. As a result, many promising projects have been put on hold or abandoned altogether despite having world-class deposits and significant investment opportunities available.
Despite these challenges, there is still significant demand for new copper projects globally due to their positive externalities such as job creation opportunities and infrastructure development requirements. To capitalize on this demand effectively, Argentina must address regulatory barriers that discourage foreign investors from entering its market while simultaneously improving transparency and traceability throughout its mining operations.
In conclusion, electromobility presents an exciting opportunity for countries like Argentina to transition towards more sustainable forms of transportation while reducing their carbon footprint. With proper policies in place to encourage investment and production while ensuring ethical practices throughout mining operations worldwide can help pave the way for a greener future ahead for all nations involved.