BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Citibank, HSBC, and JPMorgan Chase have signed a debt package for the first phase of the Sal de Oro lithium brine project in Argentina.
Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure) is providing cover on the debt providers. Milbank advised the lenders.
Sal de Oro is one of the most important lithium brine projects in Argentina, and is being developed by South Korea’s Posco, one of the world’s largest steel manufacturers. The project is located in Salar del Hombre Muerto, between Salta and Catamarca provinces.
Posco developed an extraction technology for lithium in 2010. A period of investigation and feasibility studies for production began, and a pilot plant was manufactured in South Korea in 2017 with an annual capacity of 2,500 tonnes of lithium. This was then brought and installed in Argentina.
The project is currently in advanced exploration stage, with the commercial plant expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
Posco Argentina was established in 2018, and offices were opened in Salta and later in Catamarca.