The plenary of the Chamber of Deputies In general, it approved the initiative of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with a draft decree to reform and add various precepts of the Mining Law, which seeks to establish that the lithium is a national heritage.
With 298 votes in favor, zero against and 197 abstentions, the legislators of Morena, PVEM and the Labor Party endorsed the proposal sent on Sunday night by the chief executive, after the opposition parties stopped the electrical reform by not obtain the qualified majority necessary for its approval.
The initiative with draft decree approved in a brief session, modifies articles 1, 5, 9 and 10 of the Mining Lawwhose purpose is to establish that the exploration, exploitation and use of lithium are exclusively the responsibility of the State.
The deputies proceeded to discuss, in particular, the reserved articles.
The president of the Board of Directors, Sergio Gutiérrez Luna from Moreno, pointed out that for the discussion in particular, proposals have been presented to modify the explanatory statement, as well as articles 1, 5, 9, 10, first transitory, second transitory and third transitory of the project of decree.
Before the discussion of the project in the legislative chamber of San Lázaro, the deputies of the PRI, PAN and PRD that make up the “Va por México” coalition decided to leave the session hall and announced that they would vote in abstention.
Deputy Jorge Romero Herrera, coordinator of the PAN, pointed out that this initiative does not comply with the 24 hours prior to circulating an opinion, “they did not want to make that opinion known in time.”
“Regardless of their background and content, they are wrong if they want the opposition to respond at will, at the whim and at the time they want,” argued the PAN deputy at a press conference.
On Monday morning, President López Obrador urged deputies and senators to approve his initiative to nationalize lithium, which would include the creation of a company for exploration and exploitation, and the prohibition of granting new concessions.
“I call the legislators, now two thirds are no longer required; It’s a simple majority. And I also make a respectful call to the senators so that, if possible, today or tomorrow, lithium is already protected,” said López Obrador during his morning press conference this Monday at the National Palace.
What is the potential of this mineral in the country?
Mexico ranks tenth out of 23 countries with uncertified lithium reserves, with which it has almost 2% of this material under exploration, according to the United States Geological Statistics Center (USGS).
The deposits investigated so far are located in Teocaltiche and Jalostotitlán, east of Jalisco on the border with Guanajuato; in Bacandehuachi, Aguaprieta and Nogales, Sonora, and in Piaxtla, Puebla. All projects are in exploratory phases.
The Sonora mine is the most advanced in terms of entering an exploitation phase. According to studies of different drilled wells, a quality of around 0.348% lithium, which is almost double the content that has been found on average in Chile.
(With information from Roberto Morales.)