Leading Czech specialists in the broadest range of fields recently took part in a five-day technology mission to Argentina under CzechInvest’s leadership. From 29 October to 2 November 2018, the delegation discussed possibilities of scientific and technical cooperation in the mining industry, particularly in areas such as mining technology, geology, materials research and decontamination. The mission was part of the economic diplomacy project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic (PROPED) and was co-organised by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Buenos Aires. Knowledge for strengthening bilateral ties was offered by, for example, the state-owned company DIAMO, the Czech Geological Service, the Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Technical University of Ostrava and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
“Argentina is attempting to make up for many years of lagging behind in the area of using its natural resources and is seeking assistance in applying state-of-the-art research and mining technologies. The Czech Republic’s experience and technological advancement in the mining sector offer strong potential for possible cooperation,” says Jiří Krechl, head of CzechInvest’s Research, Development and Innovation Support Department.
During the week, the Czech delegation visited key Argentine institutions, an association of firms and the University of Buenos Aires. A significant part of the programme consisted in a visit to the Exar lithium mine in Jujuy, which is located on the border of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, roughly 2,000 km from Buenos Aires. Argentina ranks among the world’s leading producers of lithium, extraction of which is carried out using a very simple method. The delegation concluded the mission with a meeting with representatives of the Salta provincial government. In the Argentine system, provinces have a high degree of autonomy and Salta is among those containing a number of prospective or already open mineral deposits, which the province wants to more thoroughly exploit, though in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Specialists from the Czech Republic can provide significant assistance in that respect.
CzechInvest has long been striving to develop relations with Latin America. For example, the agency conducted a similar mission to Chile last year.