Advance Lithium Sees Opportunities After Mining Law ReformBy Fernando Mares | Fri, 06/03/2022 - 13:25
On Apr. 20, Mexico’s Congress approved the Mining Law reform to nationalize lithium, putting the ownership of the resource in the hands of the yet to be formed national lithium company, as proposed by President López Obrador. The reform created an uncertain environment for private mining companies that had already invested in lithium deposits. Despite the uncertain environment, Advance Lithium sees an opportunity for its lithium concessions and its innovative technology to extract the white gold.
The company announced it has completed significant work to develop large production zones for lithium, potassium and boron, fulfilling all the legal requirements in the process.
According to the company’s analysis, its deposits feature equal shares of lithium and potassium, both minerals with good exploitation potential, though the current Mexican law now guards lithium. Nevertheless, the company sees a great opportunity in producing potassium, which is used as an agricultural fertilizer. Currently, all the potassium used by Mexican farmers is imported at high prices, mainly driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Moscow exports 15 percent of such fertilizers. Advanced Lithium’s deposits are located in Central Mexico, near what the company calls “Mexico’s breadbasket.”
The company sees another opportunity with its pending patent on a new extraction method for lithium and potassium developed by Dr. Roberto Pérez Garibay and his team at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CIVESTAV) in Saltillo, Coahuila. By using the method, the company could produce potassium sulfate, which is used to enhance the growth of crops and improve the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
According to Advance, its method is different from lithium extraction methods used by other companies since it relies on electrical separation and not on chemicals. Therefore, its impact on the environment is lower, especially since the electricity would be generated with renewable resources. The method separates lithium and potassium from clay and fine sand deposits, drawing water along with the minerals. After this, an organic compound is added to the water to separate it from the minerals so that it can be recycled.
Since the future of lithium remains uncertain, the company looks forward to discussing possible opportunities with Mexico’s future state lithium company.
Advance Lithium, formerly known as Advance Gold, is a junior exploration company focused on acquiring mining properties. The company has a 100 percent interest in the Tabasqueña silver mine and Venaditas Project, both located in Zacatecas. In Apr. 2021 the company entered the lithium market with the acquisition of 13 prospective lithium-potassium-boron salt deposits. In Dec. 2021, the company announced it would change its name to Advance Lithium.