Mexican President Signs Decree on Nationalization of Lithium

A Mexican Lithium Mine.

Last week the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO,) signed a decree to nationalize the Mexican lithium production industry. The mineral is very valuable and highly sought after due to its use in almost everything that has electronic components. After the signing AMLO was quoted by Reuters as saying, “Let’s make the nation be the owner of this strategic mineral. What we are doing now, is to nationalize lithium so that it cannot be exploited by foreigners from Russia, China, or the US.” The Mexican government is not experienced when it comes to extracting lithium. The Chinese mining company known as Ganfeng has been the largest contributor to the development of Mexico’s largest lithium mine in the northwest, and lithium-rich, border state of Sonora. In April of 2022, AMLO designated 2,500 square kilometers of Sonora as a national lithium mining zone. Mexico’s state-run lithium company was also founded at that time. The state-run enterprise is called ‘Litio para Mexico.’ The company’s CEO told Reuters that Mexico is still open to partnerships, but will maintain a majority stake in any future endeavors involving the mineral known as “white gold.”