Nacori Chico To Endorse Nationalization of LithiumBy Antonio Trujillo | Thu, 10/28/2021 - 09:30
Sonora municipality Nacori Chico will endorse the proposed nationalization of lithium as long as there is a benefit for the population of the Sierra Alta region of the state.
“We all want the benefits to be for Mexico, and if nationalizing it would be good for the country, we are going to see with good eyes. However, the rules of the game are not fully understood,” said Jorge Luis Portillo Arvizu, Municipal President of Nacori Chico.
Portillo, a militant of the Movimiento Ciudadano party who got reelected in this year’s elections, also said that the initiative is wholly on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who wants to “nationalize lithium.” Currently, all lithium extractive projects are stopped. “We have had talks with investors and lately I have not spoken with them, because the lithium projects have been stopped," he explained.
Additionally, he declared himself pleasantly surprised to find the local population of Sonora in the “world’s spotlight” because of the state’s large lithium reserves, a mineral, he says, that is crucial for the automotive industry.
Nowadays, Bacanora Lithium is the sole proprietor of a ranch in Bacadehuachi and another one in Nacori Chico with lithium reserves. Portillo commented that construction for a habitational complex and a natural gas power plant to generate electricity for the Bacanora lithium mine have not started yet.
Bacanora has approached the local government of Nacori Chico to discuss land use changes for the mine. To keep companies and the industry happy with appropriate regulations is important, Portillo added, given that their economic revenue is key to maintaining local roads and educational and health services.
Given current estimates of the future of lithium, Nacori Chico, alongside the neighboring municipality Sahuaripa, have found themselves in the middle of a global spotlight. In addition to Bacanora, other companies that have gotten concessions include Italian-based Mexital Mining, property of Alessio Ameruoso and Demis Zanidol, who got a concession to work in the Tesla Lithium mine in Sahuaripa. The Italian brothers have renamed their project Aros, which also includes a property of Infinite Lithium Corp.