According to a report released this week by Argentina's Mining Secretariat, the South American country's sales abroad of these minerals totaled US$ 322 million in December of 2022, with 98% of shipments stemming from the provinces of Santa Cruz (44.6%), San Juan (22.4%), Jujuy (19.1%), Salta (7.7%) and Catamarca (4.0%).
The document also highlighted these exports had reached their highest levels since 2012. In 2022, Argentine sales yielded revenues worth US$ 3,857 million, while in 2012 they had stood at US$4,981 million, according to the Mining Transparency and Information Directorate based on Customs data.
In December 2022, US$237 million (74%) of the total exports were of metalliferous minerals, with gold standing out at US$ 174 million and silver at US$ 59 million.
Thus, in 2022, exports totaled US$ 3,020 million, a 4% interannual increase.
Meanwhile, lithium exports had the highest inter-annual variation in export amounts with a 220% growth, for all-time high figures in December. Lithium exports accounted for 23% of total mining exports as a result of the increase in prices and volumes exported.
As for the accumulated year 2022, lithium sales abroad reached US$ 696 million which represented 18% of total mineral exports and a 234% yoy growth.
Non-metalliferous minerals such as borates, orthoboric acid, and bentonite reached exports for US$ 11 million in addition to the US$ 3.9 million of foreign sales of application rocks, for a total of US$ 141 million during 2022, an interannual 10% increase.
In December, 74% of Argentine mining exports were bound for Switzerland, the United States, China, and Canada for a total amount of US$ 239 million. Regarding these countries, metalliferous minerals accounted for 80% of December's sales and 73% of the full year. India, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, and Japan accounted for the remaining 27%.