BUENOS AIRES, May 2 (Reuters) - Lithium production in Argentina is on track to reach 145,000 tonnes in 2022 from 29,000 tonnes produced in 2016 thanks to new investment plans, the Energy and Mining Ministry said in a report on Tuesday.
Argentina is the world’s No. 3 producer of lithium, a hotly demanded material used in car batteries and mobile phones. The country currently produces around 16 percent of global output.
“There are several projects at different stages of progress that could be operating in the next five years,” the ministry said in the report. It said the investments total $1.5 billion.
The report included a chart that projected production of more than 145,000 tonnes of lithium in 2022.
Investments listed in the report included the construction of a 50,000-tonne capacity plant at the Cauchari salt mine in the northern province of Jujuy by Lithium Americas Corp .
It also mentioned projects planned by Galaxy Resources Ltd and French company Eramet SA.
Miners Enirgi Group Corporation and Orocobre Ltd will expand their production of lithium in Argentina with investments of $720 million and $160 million, respectively, Argentina’s government said last month.
Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Lisa Shumaker