Litio para Mexico in the Sector’s SpotlightBy Karin Dilge | Thu, 09/29/2022 - 17:49
Despite the political uncertainty in the mining sector in Mexico, companies like Vulcan Materials and Almaden Minerals encountered ways to continue operations. What is more, Mexico remains a key mining destination for Canadian companies. Lithium is still an important topic in the country as well, and senators are seeking the creation of a new lithium council. Meanwhile, Sonora’s government is asking the government to move the offices of Litio para Mexico to the state.
Ready for more? Here is your weekly roundup!
The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) failed in favor of Vulcan Material in the Calica case, a long dispute that the company has sustained against the Mexican government since 2018 when it protested against the closure of its La Rosita property located in Quintana Roo.
The Canadian mining company Almaden Minerals reported that it recently signed two agreements with non-profit organizations formed by inhabitants of Zacatepec and Santa María Zotoltepec, the two communities closest to the company’s Ixtaca project in Puebla.
Despite the political uncertainty in the Mexican mining sector, Canada continues to view Mexico as a prime destination for exploration investment. Furthermore, although no more concessions are granted, companies are improving processes and equipment to continue getting more out of their current operation and finding new discoveries.
The State of Mexico is one of the main suppliers of rock material for Mexico City, Hidalgo, Puebla and Queretaro. Nonetheless, the government reported that over 44 percent of the quarries operating in the state are working outside of the law, compromising the safety of workers and the environment.
Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the outlook for the global mining industry as economic and energy issues are negatively impacting demand and reducing profits for companies. Mexican mining companies are no exception as they have reduced their product and profit guidance for 2022, mainly due to inflation.
In Mexico, mining companies invest less than 0.8 percent of their capital in new technologies to drive their processes, with the figure standing at US$44.5 million, the Mexican Chamber of Mining (CAMIMEX) said.
Senators have requested the creation of a new government body to be in charge of promoting the development of the lithium industry in Mexico. Although, the government previously created Litio para México (LitioMx) to control and secure lithium-related opportunities, senators argue there should be another body in charge of promotion.
The Ministry of Finance reported that a lithium deposit recently discovered in Sonora could bring significant profits to the country. Furthermore, the ministry believes that the reserves could be used to produce the necessary components for the global green energy transition. However, experts are concerned that Mexico’s surrounding lithium industry is not developing fast enough.
Alfonso Durazo, Governor, Sonora, said he will ask President López Obrador to move the offices of the recently created lithium state company, Litio para México (LitioMx) to Sonora as part of the state’s strategy to become a clean energy hub.
Recent data from the Mexican mining chamber (CAMIMEX) indicates that the mining sector has increased its number of jobs by 11 percent since the end of 2021. What is more, the participation of women in the mining industry also saw a 17 percent increase, as 66,000 women are now employed in the sector.
Prismo Metals has provided an update on its exploration program at its Palos Verdes project in Sinaloa, highlighting that despite facing weather and maintenance issues, the drilling program is progressing well. In addition, the company announced that samples of the first batch have been sent for analysis and the results are expected to be received soon.