What happened to LithioMx?

MEXICO.- The nationalization of lithium marked its incarnation year in Mexico with the creation of LitioMx. White gold, which seeks to make an ecological turn against the destruction of the planet, found in Mexico a policy that leaves search, mining, exploitation and various obstacles to the discretion of the state.

The first to protest were thousands of residents of a small town immersed in the desert lands of Sonora: Bakadehuachi. Residents have witnessed how some of the economic investment has eluded the traditional feed town, which won the lottery when it turned out that more than just livestock could be exploited on parts of it.

That’s how they saw interest from international companies like Tesla, which is looking to source minerals for its eco-friendly car batteries, as well as Mexican companies like De Luna Lithium Battery.

However, the intention is left there: looking for the value that doesn’t come.

From lunar lithium recently changed an $80 million investment he planned to build in Sonora, Mexico State, because got tired of waiting for the mineral to be mined and preferred to buy lithium in China while LitioMx progresses.

All in all, LitioMx has not yet broken hope, but the hope of responding with the speed that is required with clean energy.

And if intelligence is measured by the amount of uncertainty that can be resisted, as the Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant said, then Bacadeachi villagers, Sonora residents, Mexicans and Americans betting on lithium will have to face the challenge of demonstrating their worth, because the parastatal company did not just arise Yes, analysts agree.

At present, China leads the world in lithium battery production with 79% of production, followed by Germany with 11%.


August 22, 2022 President Andres Manuel López Obrador created Lithium for Mexico (LitioMx).instance, which will be solely responsible for the use of the mineral in the territory of the country. and the administration and control of relevant economic value chains for, among others, the environmentally friendly automotive industry.

Six months later (February 18), the President signed a “Decree whereby, for reasons of public utility, the so-called Li-MX 1 lithium reserve area in Sonora, concessed to companies, is declared foreign during the six-year term of office of Enrique Peña (2012- 2018).

This reserve of lithium mines covers an area of ​​almost 235,000 hectares located in the municipalities of Arivechi, Bacadehuachi, Huasabas, Divisaderos, Granados, Sauaripa and Nakori Chico in Sonora.

Thus began an Era that should continue with the search for lithium and the end of foreign intervention, but neither followed a clear path. despite the fact that LitioMx is owned by the Mexicans and should report in detail on the next steps, but it was not transparent.

According to the General Economic Policy Criteria 2023 of the Federation Budget, the exploitation of lithium should contribute to the development of parallel industries, as well as economic damage compared to a third of the gross domestic product, but the same document recorded that the money for this he was a soldier.

“The budget is uncertain and subject to the discretionary decisions of the Department of Energy without specifying a specific line item,” said José Roldán, a consultant at the Natural Resources Management Institute.


As for LitioMx, there are at least four important questions now: will it reimburse the losses of 24 foreign companies that previously invested in this business and whose projects were suspended?; Will it strike a balance with the fossil fuel policy that the current administration is zealously promoting? Will more deposits be found and will the environmental impact be regulated?

Although the federal government has not made a decision about the slowness of operations, Some statements from officials in Sonora suggest that the Mexican state sees everything in the long term.

Margherita Vélez, the local economy minister, recently told business magazine Expansión that she does not intend to speed up any investment by skipping the approval steps for private companies that want to participate in the mining support process.

“Everything must be fully observed, starting with the presentation of the projects themselves, examination, paperwork for permits that are requested at three levels of government: municipal, regional and federal,” he said.

“Its creation and operation (LitioMx) must be quick and orderly, but without violating legal requirements, especially those relating to environmental impact issues.”

It takes about two million liters of water to produce a ton of lithium carbonate, although in some cases this figure can rise to five million, depending on the concentration and technology used, experts in the field estimate.

“On a technical level, lithium can be mined outdoors, but also from huge open pools in the middle of the desert (like in Sonora), where millions of liters of water evaporate due to the high temperatures of the sun, previously pumped abroad from the bowels,” the ecologist explained. Marina Otero.

For now, Bakadeuachi, a city advertised as “litthium-drenched,” and its surroundings will be lit by solar power.. The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has invested about $20 million in the upcoming mining operation, while exploration continues to find new deposits.

Energy analysts agree that there is “ecstasy” from the exploitation of lithium by the Mexican state, when it is not yet known how many minerals there are and what quality. Overall, it is estimated that Mexico represents 2% of the world’s potential resources.

“In order to know how much we actually have, we will first have to invest in checking what these resources are and what their quality is,” said Casiopea Ramirez of Fresh Energy Consulting.

Another issue for LitioMx is the administrative structure, as most managers lack technical expertise and their appointments are more politically related.

Author: gardenia mendoza
Source: La Opinion


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