POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo visited the lithium business site in Argentina, the core of the group's new growth engine, on Oct. 19, a group spokesperson said on Oct. 23.
Chairman Choi visited the construction site of the lithium-extraction demo plant in the Hombre Muerto, located in northwestern Argentina, and encouraged employees by asking for their safety.
Choi said, "We celebrate the successful exploration results. We have reached an important point in preparing for the next 50 years at an altitude of 4,000 meters in the Andes Mountains across the globe," he said, stressing the importance of Argentina's lithium business.
"It is important to think of safety as the top priority under extreme conditions where oxygen is thin with strong sand winds of more than 20 meters per second. We should confirm the safety of employees."
Choi also said, "We should not forget our trust-based partnership and continue to communicate with all stakeholders, including the regional community," renewing his call for a sense of safety and corporate citizenship.
POSCO confirmed that its lithium reserves and salt water production capacity are much higher than those calculated at the time of the acquisition deal, according to the ongoing scrutiny of the Argentine salt lake.
This is a 30-year increase from the initial estimate of 25,000 tons of lithium hydroxide a year for about 20 years, enabling the company to continue production for more than 50 years.
POSCO plans to continue its exploration work until the second half of 2020, and is expected to check additional reserves and expand its production capacity in a stable manner in the commercial phase.
Meanwhile, POSCO plans to complete the construction of the lithium extraction demo plant in Argentina in the first half of 2020 and expand its future production capacity to 25,000 tons per year.