Mexico lawmakers call for new body to promote lithium mining

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Mexico lawmakers call for new body to promote lithium mining

Mexican senators presented a motion calling for the creation of a new governmental body to promote the development of the state-run lithium mining industry.

Mexico has nationalized lithium and created a new state company, LitioMx, to manage the exploration, production, processing and utilization of the battery metal, with the aim of securing maximum benefits for citizens.

Demand for lithium is expected to surge as electric vehicle production grows over the coming years.

The new proposal, by five senators of the leftist labor party (PT) – an ally of the ruling Morena administration –  calls for legislation establishing a council for the promotion and development of the national lithium industry.

The council will comprise the heads of six government ministries, including the interior, energy, economy and environment ministries, as well as the Mexican geological service (SGM), national science and technology council and LitioMx.

The body will be tasked with generating policies for the coordination and exchange of information between the government agencies with the objective of developing lithium supply chains and technological advances in the state lithium industry.

It will also formulate the aims and strategy relating to the mining, processing and utilization of lithium.

The council will meet at least every six months

The motion, which was presented on Tuesday (September 20), was sent to the mining, regional development and legislative studies committees.

Mexico is not currently a lithium producer, but China-based Ganfeng Lithium is aiming to begin production at its US$420mn Sonora lithium carbonate project – the country's sole large, advanced-state lithium asset – in the coming years.

The latest estimate for first production at Sonora is 2H24.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has said existing lithium concessions, including those at Sonora, will be respected if their contracts are in order.

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