The white gold rush is on, and the powers-that-be are scrambling to consolidate control over a certain light white element that many probably never knew existed until a certain American automaker started generating headlines about electric vehicles.
In April 2022, Mexico amended its Mining Law to reserve to the state the exclusive right to explore for and exploit lithium. Now the country has formed a state-run company called Litio para Mexico (LitioMx) to oversee the mining of lithium. The new company will begin operations within the next six months.
According to the United States Geological Survey, Mexico has some 1.7 million tons of identified lithium resources, ranking the country 10th in the world behind Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, the US, Australia, China, Congo, Canada and Germany. To date, deposits of lithium have been found in the Mexican states of Baja California, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas and Sonora.
According to a presidential decree, LitioMx’s mission includes the exploration for and exploitation of lithium, as well as the administration and control of the economic value chains of the mineral. The company will coordinate with the Undersecretariat of Energy Planning and Transition of the Ministry of Energy.
Lithium for Mexico has the following powers:
- Develop medium- and long-term strategic programs for the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium, and its economic value chains
- Develop and execute engineering projects, research, geological activities, and all those related to the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium
- Research and develop the technology required in the industry related to the use of lithium
- Locate and recognize geological areas in which there are probable lithium reserves with the help of the Mexican Geological Service
- Promote the sustainable use of lithium for the energy transition
- Manage and control the activities necessary for the production, processing and distribution of lithium products, for which it may partner with other public and private institutions
Source: Green Car Congress