German and Argentinian officials met on 2 February 2024 to discuss cooperation on a raw critical materials supply chain as EU member states look to diversify away from China.

Argentina’s Mining Secretary Flavia Royon and a delegation of government and business representatives travelled to Germany last week to present Argentina’s strengths in the critical minerals supply chain at its critical minerals conference.

Argentina is one of the biggest lithium producers in the world. In 2022, its exports of the metal, which is essential to battery making, surged by 234%. Its lithium business alone, still booming as demand for the metal continues to ramp up, has been a source of hope for the nation as its economy reels from triple-digit inflation.

The Argentine delegation held meetings with representatives from Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, members of the Economic Affairs Commission of the German Parliament, the Secretary of Commerce, as well as representatives for the Americas of the German Ministry of Economy and Climate.

German officials showed an interest in cooperating with Argentina on the exploration and production of critical minerals, principally copper and lithium, Argentina’s Government said in a press statement.

It was also agreed that Argentina could be eligible to receive funding to support German companies develop mining operations in Argentinian territory.

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A visit by a German delegate to Argentina to continue talks on bilateral collaboration between the two nations is expected in March.

Interest from Germany in Argentina’s critical minerals sector comes as the EU and its member states move to diversify its supply away from Chinese dominance. Just last week, reports said that the German Government will earmark approximately €1bn ($1.1bn) for investment into raw materials to help reduce its dependency on China.

In her State of the Union address last year, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen slammed China for perceived foul play regarding its energy subsidies and its dominance in global clean energy supply chains.

She also announced that the Commission plans to launch an anti-subsidy investigation into China’s EV market.