Mexico Plans To Join Latin America's Mining Industry To Expand Its Lithium Market

Mexico plans to work with Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile to expand its lithium production in the global market

FREMONT: Mexico has started working with the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile so that the countries can share their expertise and resources to maximise the full potential of the mineral used in batteries and electronic device manufacturers.

Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina comprise the world’s "lithium triangle," a region containing nearly 56% of the world's metal deposits, as estimated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The Mexican congress recently passed a bill to nationalize the metal, tightening control of strategic mineral resources to utilize them more effectively.

Almost a dozen foreign companies in Mexico hold active mining concessions, including permission to excavate for lithium. This includes the country's most advanced project Bacanora Lithium, controlled by the Chinese firm Ganfeng Lithium Co. However, the International Chamber of Commerce argues that the law nationalizing Mexico’s future lithium industry violates trade obligations and could prove expensive to the country’s government if companies seek to mitigate their losses.

Lithium is currently going through a price boom ever since last year, in the light of the movement towards green energy, with electrical modes of transport driving an exponential increase in demand from car manufacturers and battery firms to top up supply.

Chile possesses the third-largest lithium reserves on the planet and is the second-biggest metal producer, while Bolivia has more deposits than any other country, despite having minimal production. Argentina is the fourth-largest producer worldwide and is looking to enhance its development which has been hindered for years by red tape, high tax rates, rampant inflation, and currency controls.

Chile already participates in initiatives for cooperation in the exchange of knowledge, experiences, science, and technology, and the country’s government is willing to participate in initiatives that further this transition.