Mexico Seeks Compromise with Lithium Company as Part of Nationalization Efforts

Mexican President Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday his government was looking to make a compromise with a company in the Northern state of Sonora, as the government tries to nationalize the country’s lithium resources. Lopez Obrador did not name the firm but China’s Ganfeng has been developing a major lithium project in Sonora, where it aims to produce 35,000 tons of the battery metal per year. He reiterated that Mexico’s lithium resources belonged to the nation, and added that he would visit Sonora while underlining that there was a company that had done exploratory work in a “very small area.”

“So there’s an effort underway to reach an agreement with them so as not to start a legal process, but to seek an agreement, a conciliation,” Lopez Obrador told a news conference.

He said the Economy Ministry was looking at the matter. The ministry has not confirmed if the company is Ganfeng.

“They want to have the mine, but they don’t have the permits,” Lopez Obrador said of the company, pointing out that while Mexican law would be enforced, his government will work to “convince, persuade, reach agreements, not impose anything.”

He had previously said his administration would next month grant the first concessions for mineral exploitation to a new state-run company dedicated to lithium exploitation.

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