Mexico Will Develop Technology for Space MiningBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 09/30/2021 - 09:31
Airbus and AEM plan to develop lunar resources extraction technology that will pave the way for sustaining life on the Moon. The government is analyzing the possibility of incorporating the lithium issue into the electricity reform. In addition, the sector is expected to have one of its best years in attracting FDI, as demand for metals and prices are creating a better investment environment.
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Airbus Defense and Space, the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and Mexican startup Dereum Labs, are joining forces to develop technologies to extract lunar resources and build the industrial ecosystem necessary to build this technology in Mexico. “This agreement represents the first step in a fruitful collaboration with Mexico in space activities. Being able to extract and process lunar resources is essential to sustain life over the long term on the Moon. This collaboration brings together the right partners with the latest technologies and capabilities for a clearer horizon in lunar exploration,” said Víctor de la Vela, Head of Airbus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The electric reform that seeks to strengthen state company CFE is expected to be sent to congress this week. López Obrador said that the exploitation of lithium could be added to the reform so that the country begins to take advantage of the resource. However, the government is still pondering the best options. “We are analyzing whether to include the lithium issue or to do it separately. We want to choose the best option. As a result, we are studying the entire resource and want to come up with a good framework and even see if we can nationalize the resource,” said López Obrador.
This year Mexico has been attracting large sums of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), compared to 2020 considered one of the lowest years. The Minister of Economy reported that the price of metals and an increased demand have been the main factors that have benefited the sector and FDI is expected to increase for the rest of 2021.
During H121, foreign investment totaled US$1.5 billion, much higher than the US$296 million in 2020. That year, mining investments were affected by the pandemic as investors became more cautious. Mexican authorities had plans that in 2020 the sector would attract US$344 million; however, the pandemic and national uncertainty affected the sector.
Americas Mining Corp. has agreed to settle a US$24.5 million deal in order to address a demand that also involves Southern Copper Corp. The Grupo México subsidiary announced the cash settlement following a derivative demand, which also named Southern Copper’s administrative board, that accuses both companies from engaging in unfair transactions at the copper producer’s expenses. Should it get approved and the deal carry out, it would free both Americas Mining and the members of the administrative board of Southern Copper from culpability in the demand, stated Southern Copper’s Carla Lacey, who claims the board allowed Grupo México to exploit the company through construction contracts, railway lines usage agreements, and mineral sales, among other contracts.
Silverton Metals has announced the beginning of exploration activities at the Pluton silver-zinc-lead project in Durango, Mexico. Pluton is a 6,534-hectare property comprised of three contiguous exploration concessions, located along the eastern front of the Sierra Madre Oriental in northern Durango near Excellon Resources’ Platosa mine, one of the highest-grade silver producers in Mexico. The Platosa mine was graded at 506 g/t silver with a silver equivalent metal production of over one million ounces. Exploration targets at Pluton silver-lead-zinc and chimney carbonate replacement deposits, which may lie beneath the shallow alluvium and strongly altered clastic rocks that overlie the productive carbonate rocks.
Richmond-based Benjamin Hill has announced their inaugural drill program at a “never-before drilled” Sonora Gold property. The program, according to the company, is composed of 80 drill holes in strategic locations, mainly aiming at highly-mineralized structures in the Caracahui and Caracahui North, Sonora Copper, La Salada, and Antenas areas. The company is planning on a phased approach for drilling in order to maximize the value of data collected.