Friday, June 2, 2023

Mexico is “behind” in the supply of lithium for batteries. Where are automotive companies looking?

Mexico is “behind” in the supply of lithium for batteries. Where are automotive companies looking?

Mexico still needs to obtain the technology needed to extract lithium from deposits

Various automotive companies with transition commitments electromobility they direct their vision Argentina in order to provide lithium,

that is the case General Motors (GM), which announced a $450 million investment to join with Energex, a company that extracts minerals in the Argentine province of San Juan.

This is the second agreement GM signs to ensure supplies in Argentina. In July 2022, it had already signed an agreement with the company Livent, which operates in Catamarca.

In turn, the latter also provides Tesla Which will produce one million vehicles annually in Mexico.

These compact units will carry batteries made in Austin, Texas. it must be remembered 50% of the lithium imported by the United States comes from the lithium triangle Which makes up Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.

On the other hand, in 2021, bmw announced the investment of US$300 million for the extraction of the Catamarca resource In association with Livent Mining Company.

The automaker has plans to expand production of electric vehicles and “high voltage” batteries in San Luis de Potosí.

In 2022, ford Signed an agreement with mining company Rio Tinto to buy “white gold” from the Rincon project in Salta.

But… why isn’t the lithium supplied from Mexico?

The country, a neighbor of the United States and with which it has commercial agreements, has not yet been able to exploit the mineral for use in the electric automotive industry.

It should be remembered that the main buyer of vehicles in Mexico is governed by the country Biden Which implements incentive policies for the adoption of zero emission cars.

Mexico ranks ninth among the countries with the largest amount of the resource with 1.7 million tonnes. it is indicated by United States Geological Survey And this figure was recognized by the director of Litio Mx, pablo tadei,

Although it has large quantities, it is not among the countries with the largest reserves. For this to happen, the country must have the capacity to exploit the mineral.

In this case, the work belongs to the state. it’s because the government Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Nationalized this sector.

In turn, various experts insisted that private participation was necessary to provide technology for its extraction. Significantly, the method of separating lithium from soil has not yet been implemented in the country.

in that sense, opened the game to the private sector for extraction, provided they set up an automotive plant in the field where the deposit is located in the state of Sonora.

Until now, the only company that has operated on the farm was Ganfeng Lithium, operating through a concession granted before nationalization.

Tesla, on the other hand, has shown interest in the technology’s contribution to extraction.

it’s because of the plans Elon Musk To set up a battery factory in the country and thus complete the supply chain at the Gigafactory of zero emission cars in Santa Catarina, Nuevo León.

The investment decision is in negotiation with the federal government, which provides qualified labor. However, the US subsidy is also attractive to the Twitter owner, which implies the conditions are competitive between the two countries.

From Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA) They recognize the actions of the AMLO government with regard to Plan Sonora.

However, with regard to its utility for transitioning to the automotive sector, he states that the supply of the mineral is the responsibility of each firm and that it is available on the world market.

So far, nationalization has not shown results in providing Mexican industry with this input. This will make it possible to promote electromobility in North America and produce zero-emission vehicles for Latin America and Europe.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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