What role does Contreras play in the Argentine mining industry, specifically in lithium mining?

Contreras is an Argentinean construction company with more than 75 years of history, having developed projects both in Argentina and in other countries of the region, including participation in some open pit gold mining projects.

Specifically in lithium mining, we are participating in 3 projects, where we performed soil movement and placement of membranes for the construction of the piles, mechanical assembly tasks and we are currently in the final phase of construction of a 40,000 tons per year plant for Exar in the Cauchari and Olaroz salt flats in the province of Jujuy.

Besides engineering, which other services do you currently offer the Argentine mining industry, and which projects would you highlight in the lithium market?

As mentioned above, we provide support in the movement of soil for piles, and perhaps where we have achieved greater specialisation is in the construction of lithium processing plants.

We are closely monitoring all the lithium projects in the NOA region, the potential for projects is enormous and due to the logistical challenge of getting them all up and running, we are drawing up a map that will allow us to progressively and orderly incorporate the other projects that will come in the future.

With more than 6,200km of pipelines constructed, what are Contreras’ next steps in regards to pipeline-building in Argentina and the region?

Argentina has a great opportunity with the growth in production levels that Vaca Muerta has been showing; and the recognition of its potential as a development axis for Argentina, this is accompanied by the consequent readjustment of the existing transport, storage and processing network in the country.

Contreras intends to maintain a leading role in the execution of the projects that are envisaged for the coming years, the variety and volume of projects makes us analyze partnership alternatives in order to cover these infrastructure needs.

With a current revamping of Argentine offshore activities, what role will you play in designing and executing key projects in the country?

Good international energy prices have put some offshore projects in Argentina back on the scene, and we are monitoring their progress for the time being.

Energy and transport go hand in hand; given your expertise in road and rail works, what is your assessment of Argentina’s current network? Do you have any plans to assist in port design and construction in the future?

The construction of roads and civil infrastructure is part of the portfolio of projects we serve and we have some in our portfolio, although we envisage having a more active participation in them in the medium term.

What are Contrera’s main objectives in Argentina’s lithium industry in the short-to-medium term?

In the short term, our objective is to maintain our participation in the different projects that will be developed in Argentina, and in the medium term, to take advantage of the experience acquired to project ourselves in other lithium projects outside Argentina.

About the Author: Felipe Gaitán Michelsen