Argentina - Country Commercial Guide
Mining

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2022-08-04

Argentina’s mining sector holds significant potential.  Although there is a healthy level of mining sector activity, and a substantive number of projects in the pipeline, the country’s critical mass of natural resources still remains untapped. Argentina started mining production roughly 25 years ago, however pre-pandemic mining exports during 2019 accounted for ~$3.2 billion, achieving a 3.5 percent growth year-on-year (pre-pandemic) and holds resources to expand production and achieve exports well worth over $11 billion per annum.   

Argentina’s current top mineable ore minerals are gold, silver and copper.  Argentina is home to the world’s third largest lithium reserve.  Although over 70 percent of Argentina’s proven lithium resources have not yet been prospected, lithium mining is the industry’s fastest growing segment, and positioned Argentina as the world’s third largest lithium exporter.  However, of Argentina’s $27B mining projects portfolio, copper mining related projects will represent well above 50 precent of the portfolio.

Argentina’s regulatory framework has positioned the marketplace as a preferred investment destination for lithium mining in contrast with neighboring markets. Argentina joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2018, which is a global standard for good governance of oil and gas, and mineral resources.

Another growing mining industry segment is siliceous sands used in hydraulic fracturing, which is a critical element increase non-conventional hydrocarbon production in Argentina’s flagship shale basin, Vaca Muerta.  Argentina also features deposits of target minerals such as aluminium, boron, iron, molybdenum, potash, uranium, vanadium, and zinc.

U.S. mining equipment and technology enjoys a 75 percent market share.  Given Argentina’s industry potential, U.S. suppliers of mining related technology should take advantage of the opportunity and consider Argentina as a market for expansion. 

Resources

For additional information, including market analysis, trade events, contacts, and the products and services that the U.S. Commercial Service can provide to help you succeed in the Argentine market, please contact Marcelo Amden, Industry Specialist.