In a panel to discuss the creation of the Organization of Lithium Producing and Exporting Countries (OLPEC) in Mexico, experts discuss the need to have a strong, sustainable and resilient lithium supply chain and the challenges Mexico faces to achieve commercial production. Furthermore, mining leaders urged the federal government to guarantee security conditions on highways. According to industry insiders, the issue of insecurity is anticipated to persist throughout the remainder of 2023.
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In a roundtable to discuss the potential creation of OLPEC, experts discuss the potential for the organization and the challenges Mexico faces toward the creation of a national lithium supply chain, which according to them must take care of potential environmental damages it could cause if the industry is not well directed.
CONCAMIN called on the government to guarantee greater security on highways. CONCAMIN noted that despite the federal government's efforts, a drastic reduction in highway crime rates has not been achieved. CAMIMEX stated that criminal gangs operating on the highways commonly attack the mining sector. Such attacks increase mining companies’ operating costs between 10% and 20%.
Hernando Rueda, Country Manager, Vizsla Silver, envisions a resilient future for the Mexican mining industry amid challenges. Emphasizing strategic adaptation under the new Mining Law, Rueda underscores the sector's commitment to ESG trends. With a dedicated focus on their flagship Panuco project's advancement, Vizsla Silver sets a progressive tone for responsible mining practices in Mexico's evolving landscape.
The Juanicipio Fresnillo PLC plant in Zacatecas, which required an investment of close to MX$10 billion (US$587.24 million), was inaugurated. To ensure a successful operation at Juanicipio, state authorities and Fresnillo signed a MX$500 million (US$29.36 million) collaboration agreement to promote local suppliers and incorporate them into the company’s supply chain.
During a working table to discuss the creation of OLPEC, experts and interested countries revealed their energy transition strategies and the importance of ensuring global lithium supply to achieve these goals, not only within their borders but globally.
While lithium-ion batteries have emerged as a key component in the energy transition, their availability is hindered by restricted lithium reserves, potentially polluting extraction processes and the anticipated steep escalation of mineral prices due to rising demand. In this context, researchers propose zinc-air batteries (ZAB) as a greener and more cost-effective solution. However, more research is needed.
The US requested a Rapid Response Labor Mechanism panel under USMCA to resolve the labor dispute at Grupo Mexico's Mexico San Martin mine in Zacatecas. Grupo Mexico assures that the panel will demonstrate that the company has not violated the rights of its workers.