LatinNews Daily - 16 November 2022

In brief: Mexico’s López Obrador outlines lithium plans

*Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has offered more details on how he envisages the country’s incipient lithium industry will operate. Speaking in a daily morning press conference on 15 November, he declared that plans were being made to “resolve [existing] concessions” given that lithium now “belongs to the nation”, due to legal reforms passed in April which declare lithium patrimony of the nation. López Obrador said that this meant there must be an agreement between the recently created state-owned lithium company, Litio para México, or LitioMx, and private companies holding lithium mining concessions, and that LitioMx must hold a majority stake in any lithium-related projects. López Obrador also stated that any lithium that is mined must remain in Sonora state, where the majority of Mexico’s lithium reserves are located, and where he plans to build factories for manufacturing lithium batteries for use in electric vehicles, which will also be built in the state. He added that there would be a call for US and Canadian companies to participate in Mexico’s lithium industry. Although Mexico has the ninth-largest identified lithium reserves in the world (1.7m tonnes), according to the US Geological Survey, there is currently no commercial lithium production in the country.

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