Germany and Argentina discuss cooperation on critical minerals

German and Argentinian officials met on February 2, 2024, to discuss supply chain cooperation for critical raw materials as EU members seek to diversify away from China.

critical minerals

Argentina’s Mining Minister Flavia Royon and a delegation of government and business representatives traveled to Germany last week to showcase Argentina’s strengths in critical minerals supply chains at a critical minerals conference.

Argentina is one of the world’s largest lithium producers. Exports of the metal necessary for battery manufacturing increased by 234% in 2022. The lithium business is still booming as demand for the metal continues to grow, itself a source of hope at a time when the country’s economy is suffering from triple-digit inflation.

The Argentine delegation met with representatives of the German Foreign Ministry, members of the Economic Committee of the German Bundestag, the Minister of Trade and representatives of the US Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.

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German officials have expressed interest in cooperating with Argentina in the exploration and production of critical minerals, particularly copper and lithium, the Argentine government said in a press release.

The meeting also agreed that Argentina would be eligible to receive funding to support German companies developing mining operations in Argentina. German representatives are expected to visit Argentina in March to continue discussions on bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Germany’s interest in Argentina’s key minerals sector comes as the European Union and its member states seek to diversify their products and move away from China’s dominance. Just last week, there were reports that the German government would allocate about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to invest in raw materials to reduce dependence on China.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen criticized China in last year’s State of the Union address for inappropriate behavior in its energy subsidies and dominance of the global clean energy supply chain.

She also announced that the European Commission plans to launch a countervailing investigation into the Chinese electric vehicle market.

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