In the event that the Mexican government revokes or annuls the concessions granted to private parties in the mining sectorafter modifying the law in this matter, it will be obliged to compensate investors in accordance with international agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), warned the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The reform to Mining Law approved in the Congress of the Union on lithium, “is in violation of the CPTPP and other commercial instruments and could force the Mexican government to compensate companies that currently have concessions in the matter,” warned the Trade and Policy Commission of Investment and the Investment Arbitration Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce Mexico (ICC Mexico).
And it is that he explained that according to articles 9.12 and 10.7 of the CPTPPthe parties are prohibited from modifying their regulatory framework to introduce restrictions on activities or sectors that were not reserved in Annex I or II of said instrument.
The international business sector mentioned that Mexico reserved as an activity to the Mexican State the exploration, exploitation and use of lithium.
So other provisions of the CPTPP and of APPRIS in force, could also have been violated, including provisions of APPRIS concluded with Australia, China and the United Kingdom.
Last week, the Congress of the Union approved in fast track the mining law to reserve lithium and other strategic minerals, to the Mexican state and close the participation of the private sector, via concessions, in the exploitation, exploration and use of minerals.
“ICC Mexico recognizes that lithium, like other mineral resources, are the nation’s heritage, as enshrined in Article 27 of the Constitution,” he said in a statement.
However, such recognition should not be confused with the right of Mexican and foreign investors to participate, through concessionsin economic activities related to the exploration, exploitation and production of mineral resources.
According to the Ministry of Economy, Mexico is among the top 10 producers of 17 different minerals that, like lithium, are owned by the Mexican State and in which the private sector currently participates: silver, fluorite, celestite, sodium sulfate, wollastonite, bismuth, molybdenum, lead, cadmium, magnesium sulfate, zinc, diatomite, barite, gypsum, salt, gold and copper.