Mexico forms state-run company to mine lithium: Litio para Mexico

Mexico has formed a state-run company called Litio para Mexico (LitioMx) to mine the country’s lithium. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador made the announcement in a decree issued in the DOF (Diario Oficial de la Federación). Litio para Mexico will begin operations within the next six months.

The mission for LitioMx is the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium, located in national territory, as well as the administration and control of the economic value chains of this mineral, according to the decree.

Lithium for Mexico will coordinate with the Undersecretariat of Energy Planning and Transition of the Ministry of Energy. Lithium for Mexico has the following powers:

  1. Develop medium- and long-term strategic programs for the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium, and its economic value chains;
  2. Develop and execute engineering projects, research, geological activities, and all those related to the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium;
  3. Research and develop the technology required in the industry related to the use of lithium;
  4. Locate and recognize geological areas in which there are probable lithium reserves with the help of the Mexican Geological Service;
  5. Generate the basic geological information of lithium that is located in the national territory with the support of the Mexican Geological Service;
  6. Promote the sustainable use of lithium for the energy transition, for the benefit of the general population;
  7. Manage and control the activities necessary for the production, processing and distribution of lithium products, for which it may partner with other public and private institutions; and
  8. Other activities necessary for the full fulfillment of its purpose.

The Board of Directors for LitioMx comprises the head of the Ministry of Energy, who will preside over it; the head of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit; the head of the Ministry of Economy; the head of the Ministry of the Interior; and the head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

The head of the Mexican Geological Survey will attend the meetings of the Lithium Board of Directors for Mexico as a permanent guest, with voice, but without vote. In April 2022, Mexico amended its Mining Law to to reserve to the state the exclusive right to explore and exploit lithium.

According to the USGS, Mexico has 1.7 million tons of identified lithium resources, ranking the country 10th in the world behind Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, the US, Australia, China, Congo, Canada and Germany.

To date, deposits of lithium in Mexico are found in Baja, California; San Luis Potosí; Zacatecas; and Sonora.

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