Argentina asks Toyota to speed up the manufacture of lithium batteries in Jujuy

The Argentine government has asked the Japanese consortium Toyota Tsusho to speed up the manufacture of lithium batteries, which it extracts from the Olaroz salt flat in Jujuy province, where it is investing $295 million. The neighbouring country is the second-largest lithium producer in South America after Bolivia, which has the largest reserves of the mineral which, due to its high electrochemical potential, is a suitable anode for electric batteries.

Mining collapses and an estimated 40% of gold extracted is illegal

Falling international mineral prices and containment due to the coronavirus pandemic caused a sharp drop in mineral production and exports. As of November 2020, mineral export revenues fell by 31%. However, the illegal exploitation and commercialisation of gold represent another severe problem for the sector. In the absence of state control and monitoring, at least 40% of gold extracted is not officially reported and is traded via smuggling.