(Adds details on planned investment, economy minister comment)
BUENOS AIRES, May 31 (Reuters) – Chinese mining company Tibet Summit Resources will invest $1.7 billion to develop a pair of lithium projects in northwest Argentina, the South American country’s economy ministry announced on Wednesday.
The projects, to be carried out in two promising salt flats in Salta province, are expected to produce between 50,000 and 100,000 tonnes of lithium, the ministry explained in a statement.
Tibet Summit Resources did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the government announcement.
Argentina is the world’s fourth largest producer of lithium, an ultra-light metal in high demand from rechargeable battery makers.
“We want a mining industry that takes advantage of our resources and generates added value and employment,” Economy Minister Sergio Massa was quoted as saying in the statement.
Massa is currently in China, where he met with executives from Tibet Summit Resources. (Reporting by Lucila Sigal; Editing by David Alire Garcia)