No More Permits for Mining Companies: AMLOBy Lorenzo Núñez | Tue, 03/16/2021 - 10:14
The Federal Government has decided it will not hand out any more permits to mining companies, said President López Obrador. This statement came after Canadian company Advance Gold Corporation announced that its subsidiary in Mexico had signed an agreement to purchase of 13 estates which contain lithium, potassium and boron deposits.
Advance Gold Corporation said in a press release that they plan to purchase a pilot plant designed and built under the supervision of Roberto Pérez Garibay, who is an expert in mineral recovery and lithium extraction. The president of Advance Gold Corp, Allan Barry Laboucan said they were very enthusiastic about diversifying their income with a lithium-potassium-boron extraction project in Mexico. He explained how their investors were also very interested in lithium projects, especially with president Biden’s plan of investing in more renewable energy.
The lithium deposits located in San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas went through various exploration projects funded by different investors, who took advantage of the mining boom period during former presidents’ Felipe Calderon and Enrique Peña Nieto administrations. Back in 2009, Martín Sutti Courtade, mining businessman stated that an area of over 60,000 hectares had shown promises of lithium and potassium deposits, reported La Jornada. The Korean company LG had expressed its interest in participating in a lithium extraction project, but never fully committed. Chinese corporation, Citic Guoan Group had also expressed interest in installing a lithium battery plant in the municipality of Santo Domingo in the western area of San Luis Potosí. However, the project never panned out and the company went bankrupt a few years later, leaving those lithium deposits untouched until now, reported by La Jornada.
President López Obrador stated that the Secretary of Economy has not received a formal request from the Canadian company Advance Gold Corporation, but insisted that there was no longer the intention of giving permits to foreign mining companies stating that in the previous administration, multiple permits were handed out. "In previous administrations the permits given out were equivalent to 120 million hectares" said Andrés Manuel. The president also mentioned that in their government they have not given out any type of mining permit and he considers them unnecessary, as reported.
When asked about his stance in regards to lithium deposits, the president replied that they were still waiting to see the importance of the material. Meaning, what benefits it could possibly bring to the people of Mexico. This is in regards to the recent proposal from Morena Senator Alejandro Armenta, who argues the objective is to guarantee that Mexico cashes the most amounts from its natural resources. Armenta argues the profits from the lithium extraction, could be four times greater than the national debt, reported MBN.