South Korea-based steelmaker POSCO will invest US$830 million in a lithium hydroxide plant in Argentina. The plant, near the Salar del Hombre Muerto salt lake in northern Argentina, will have an annual production capacity of 25,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide—sufficient to supply batteries for 600,000 electric vehicles, according to POSCO.
The plant will be constructed by the first half of 2024.
Earlier in 2021 year, POSCO broke ground on a lithium hydroxide plant in South Korea with an annual production capacity of 43,000 tons of lithium hydroxide—enough to manufacture about 1 million electric vehicles, according to POSCO.
POSCO bought lithium mining rights in Argentina from Australian lithium miner Galaxy Resources for $280 million in 2018. Initially, POSCO estimated that the site had 2.2 million tons of lithium reserves. The site was later confirmed to contain 13.5 million tons of lithium reserves—enough to make batteries for about 370 million electric cars, according to POSCO.
POSCO said it plans to boost its annual production capacity of lithium at home and abroad to 220,000 tons by 2030.
POSCO developed an extraction technology for lithium in 2010. A period of investigation and feasibility studies for production followed. A pilot plant was manufactured in South Korea in 2017 with a capacity of 2,500 tons / year of lithium.