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Mexican energy reform proposal would nationalize lithium production

A Mexican energy reform proposal would make the production of lithium, a key component of batteries, the sole domain of the government.

That’s one element of a broader energy reform that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent to Congress last week.

“In that same initiative it is established that for lithium exploitation, only the nation will be able to do that,” AMLO, as he is widely known, said Friday. “That is to say, the lithium that is in the subsoil, all of the mineral that is in the country’s subsoil, in our territory, it is the Mexican peoples’, the nation’s.”

However, officials said that lithium concessions already granted to private companies would be respected. On Monday, Bacanora Lithium, the company behind a massive lithium project in Sonora,  saidthat since it has already started exploration and construction it does not expect to be impacted.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.