Image credits: Zbynek Burrival
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News Article

Mexico’s Lithium State Company Gets a Name

By Fernando Mares | Fri, 08/12/2022 - 19:16

After months of controversy, the Mexican government announced the name of its state-owned lithium company, which will be managed by the Ministry of Energy (SENER). The government compares the creation of the company with other key state companies like CFE. 

Minister of Energy Rocío Nahle announced on Twitter that the lithium state company will be named “Litio para México”. The announcement comes after months of speculations regarding the possible name of the company and it is expected that in the coming weeks, the government will announce the official creation of the company, following the reform to Art. 1, 5, 9 and 10 of the Mining Law made on April 20, 2022.  

In May 2022, President López Obrador justified the participation of the government in the lithium industry arguing that companies were allegedly using their lithium concessions for speculation. Still, the reform has not been free of controversy. On May 27, 2022, a group of opposition house representatives from PAN, PRI, PRD and Movimiento Ciudadano filed an unconstitutionality claim against the reform before the Supreme Court. The court, however, did not establish a deadline for a final ruling, which means a resolution could take a year to consolidate. The lawsuit, moreover, does not interfere with the 90-business days deadline López Obrador has to create the lithium company. 

Since the reform was approved, Mexico has actively communicated with key lithium producing countries, including Argentina, Chile and most recently Bolivia, which has a similar approach to lithium exploitation. On Aug. 5, 2022, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard visited Bolivia, where he discussed with Bolivian President Luis Arce and Bolivian Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta the possibility of cooperation between both countries’ state-owned companies. Both parties agreed on the need to participate in the processing of the mineral and its use in battery manufacturing. 

President López Obrador has also highlighted the automotive industry as a priority for the up-and-coming lithium industry. “This [lithium] company can interact or have commercial relations with the automotive industry in the country. It will be an important asset to strengthen our industry and the automotive plants installed in Mexico. We will make lithium available to the companies manufacturing cars and auto parts in Mexico,” López Obrador said.   
 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, Expansión
Photo by:   Zbynek Burrival
Fernando Mares Fernando Mares Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst