https://www.engineeringnews.co.za
Energy|Financial|Mining|PROJECT|rail|Steel|transport
Energy|Financial|Mining|PROJECT|rail|Steel|transport
energy|financial|mining|project|rail|steel|transport

Eramet bets on lithium as it invests more in large mines

13th November 2023

By: Reuters

  

Font size: - +

PARIS - Eramet will go ahead with plans to add more capacity in Argentina for the battery mineral lithium and aims to double nickel mine output in Indonesia, in an investment push it sees withstanding a faltering global economy.

The French mining group forecast on Monday capital expenditure of about €1.9-billion over 2024 to 2026, an increase in annual investment from €550-million expected this year.

"These investments are being made in areas with very high growth," Christel Bories, Eramet's chair and CEO, told Reuters. "Lithium is not tied to world economic growth, it's tied to the development of batteries and the energy transition."

The group said it had approved a second phase for its Centenario lithium project in Argentina to produce about 30 000 metric tons annually of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), on top of the 24 000 tons targeted in a first tranche that will enter production in the second quarter of 2024.

As well as studying a possible third tranche at Centenario, the firm is exploring the nearby Arizaro deposit, Bories said before Eramet's first capital markets day.

Eramet is developing Centenario with Chinese steel giant Tsingshan. A $400-million deal with Glencore to market lithium from the project's first stage will mostly cover Eramet's financing needs for the next tranche, Bories said.

In Chile, meanwhile, the group said it had acquired for an initial $95 million a 120,000-hectare lithium concession in the Atacama region.

Eramet wants to bring output at Weda Bay in Indonesia, the world's largest nickel mine that it also operates with Tsingshan, to 60-million wet metric tons in 2026 from 30-million anticipated this year.

The group aims to process some of the Weda Bay ore into battery-grade nickel and cobalt in a joint venture with German chemical group BASF, with a decision due next year.

It also plans to increase ore output in Gabon, where it operates the world's largest manganese mine, to 8.5-million tons in 2026 from about million expected in 2023, mainly through improvements to a rail transport link.

The competitiveness of its top mines and the sale of less profitable metallurgical businesses allows Eramet to invest in a weaker cycle marked by economic uncertainty in commodity powerhouse China, Bories said.

"The outlook for 2024 is not very favourable," she said. "But despite the very sharp fall in metal prices we are managing to hold up."

However, in New Caledonia its nickel subsidiary SLN remains in financial difficulties, and has entered another court conciliation process after using up the latest loan from the French government, Bories said.

With Eramet refusing to inject more money into SLN and Glencore only providing funding to end-February for the Koniambo Nickel SAS (KNS) operation it co-owns, the authorities need to agree measures in the coming weeks to salvage a nickel industry depleted by energy costs and political tensions, she said.

Edited by Reuters

Comments

 

Showroom

Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...

VISIT SHOWROOM 
Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa (Pty) Ltd
Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa (Pty) Ltd

Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa is sole distributors for Goodwin electrically driven, submersible, abrasion resistance slurry pumps.

VISIT SHOWROOM 

Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 12 April 2024
Magazine round up | 12 April 2024
12th April 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
PLUS
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?

MAGAZINE & ONLINE

SUBSCRIBE

RESEARCH CHANNEL AFRICA

SUBSCRIBE

CORPORATE PACKAGES

CLICK FOR A QUOTATION







sq:0.166 0.223s - 158pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now