The development of a globally accepted lithium price would
help the Argentinian government to develop policy in the
country, the country's undersecretary of mining development,
Mariano Lamothe, told Fastmarkets recently.
"Today, there are many different prices, and a single
benchmark price would be a positive step toward analyzing
[price trends] to help us understand what public policies would
be positive for the lithium industry in Argentina," Lamothe
"We can choose to support lithium carbonate or hydroxide
production in Argentina, or perhaps both. And the same would
apply to battery technologies, which we would like to see
developing in Argentina to make [the country's industry] more
competitive," Lamothe added.
A globally accepted single benchmark price could also
support investment into Argentina, which is home to multiple
lithium projects, according to the official. These could make
the country more competitive in the market, which is dominated
"As we understand it, a price benchmark would help junior
companies to raise funds. Argentina has a portfolio of lithium
projects in early and late stages [of development] whose
funding would benefit from a clearer market [direction],"
Lamothe said. "The Argentinian government will give the
necessary institutional support for the development of a
lithium price benchmark."
Transparency in prices would allow the government to use
up-to-date information on lithium price cycles to help it
direct policy decisions that would support particular projects
at specific times. But the technological trends that underpin
the evolution in the sector are also important, according to
"[The market intelligence gained from price transparency]
will also help us to study technological trends in the global
market, so we can plan which types of infrastructure to
support, and provide guidance for R&D policies," Lamothe
said. "Argentina has skilled people and a competent scientific
environment, capable of leveraging the development of the
The lack of price transparency and a globally accepted
lithium price benchmark have been deterrents to growth in the
lithium sector, acting as a barrier to new investors that might
otherwise be interested in investing in this battery raw
Fastmarkets and the London Metal Exchange will collaborate to develop a lithium price
benchmark, they announced on June 10 this year.