Mexican Senate approves nationalization of lithium mining

April 22, 2022

Mexico has nationalized its lithium mining industry. The country’s Senate voted 87 in favor and 20 against of the mining reform bill that was submitted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is expected to sign it into law.

The law says a state-run company will have exclusive rights to mine lithium, a mineral used in electric car batteries and other devices. Such a company does not yet exist, and the Mexican government has no experience in mining lithium.

The Associated Press reported that the bill passed in the lower house of Congress Monday, marking a near-record speed of approval in both house of Congress.

Only one lithium mine in Mexico, operated by a Chinese firm, is anywhere close to starting production. It was not clear if that mine in northern Mexico would be taken over by the government.

The bill on lithium had been part of an electrical energy reform bill that failed to win approval Sunday in the lower house.



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