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French mining company Eramet is planning to increase lithium production capacity in Argentina and double nickel output in Indonesia, reported Reuters.

As part of this plan, the mining company intends to invest €1.9bn ($2.03bn) between 2024 and 2026. This marks an increase in annual investment from €550m projected in 2023.

Eramet chair and CEO Christel Bories was quoted by the news agency as saying: “These investments are being made in areas with very high growth.

“Lithium is not tied to world economic growth, it is tied to the development of batteries and the energy transition.”

In Argentina, Eramet has decided to move ahead with the second tranche of its Centenario lithium project to produce 30,000 tonnes (t) of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) a year.

Eramet is developing the Centenario mine with Chinese steel giant Tsingshan.

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The first tranche of the Centenario project with a 24,000t capacity is due to start production in the second quarter of 2024.

Eramet is also planning to assess the feasibility of the third tranche at the Centenario mine.

In Indonesia, Eramet plans to increase production from the Weda Bay nickel mine from the 30 million wet metric tonnes anticipated this year to 60 million tonnes in 2026.

The French company is also looking to increase manganese production from its mine in Gabon from an expected seven million tonnes in 2023 to 8.5 million tonnes in 2026.

In Chile, Eramet acquired a 120,000-hectare lithium concession in the Atacama region for $95m.