New Lithium Deposits Found in SonoraBy Antonio Trujillo | Tue, 09/07/2021 - 09:23
The Mexican Geological Service has detected 14 lithium carbonate deposits in Sonora, additional to other sites already in operation by foreign companies.
The 14 deposits found in the municipality of Bacadéhuachi, Sonora will be incorporated into those in operation by Chinese-Canadian company Bacanora Lithium. Alfonso Durazo, governor-elect of the state, announced that his administration will be exploiting the deposits in order to incentivize the state´s mining industry.
“There are many points in the state that have the potential to produce lithium that have yet to be properly explored. I am more in line with promoting the exploration of those additional points that have already been detected,” commented Durazo. He also announced that unresolved issues in Cananea and neighboring communities pertaining to health and economic burdens caused by Grupo México will be tended. The company, and specifically its director Germán Larrea, who has been accused by local groups of trying to get involved in the lithium business, have approached Mr. Durazo to initiate talks about these matters and proposed Mexico City as a meeting place.
Mexico is preparing itself to exploit the benefits of this crucial metal, called “white gold,” vital in the 21st century for its role as a central piece in the manufacture of batteries, cellphones, computers, electric cars, and other electronic devices. Lithium is capable of kickstarting and boosting the development of any nation with considerable deposits, according to analysts In fact, in 2019, the López Obrador administration announced the existence of the aforementioned deposits and the implementation of Sonora Lithium for exploitation, alongside a national strategy to bring investments into its extraction. According to Mining Technology, Sonora has the world’s largest lithium deposit, with an estimated 243.8 million tons. The Mexican Senate has received initiatives to promote a constitutional sovereign protection of the metal.
The battle for this “white gold” is fierce between the US and China. Washington has managed to get Mexico’s resources and its exploitation into the recent USMCA, in an effort to control regional production of batteries. The Mexican government, on its part, has approached the Bolivian government under President Luis Arce for advice and consultancy on how best to move forward with the metal, given the Andean country’s experience with it. Both countries signed a “Letter of Intent with Regard to Cooperation,” aimed at planning strategies and starting projects for exploitation, production, and processing.