Saturday, January 28, 2023

The US offers to “cooperate” with Mexico to extract lithium at a lower cost

Mexico City ,

from Alaska to Chiapas, North America everything will be needed lithium Which you can get in a short term window of one or two years. And because of this, governments Mexico, Canada and the United States have launched a joint project to measure in detail regional stores of is a mineral which will use high-tech industries and a fleet of millions of electric cars in particular lithium battery In the near future.

This was revealed in an interview with Brian Nichols, the Under Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere at the Department of State. “We’re working together, collectively, to locate the important minerals we have North America and that they’re going to power the next generation of batteries,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to Mexico is an integral part of a high-tech (regional) structure.

Without giving details of how the investigation is progressing, Nichols made it clear that while respecting the Mexican sovereign framework, Washington is willing to offer Mexico The possibility of taking advantage of the experience of American private initiatives to reduce costs lithium production through special techniques.

And that increasing the production of cars that use rechargeable batteries is “an opportunity for Mexico to take advantage of its reserves and put them into the production of electric vehicles,” he said. “For now, the price of Mexican lithium is a little high, and I think there are technologies that can bring that cost down.”

What Nichols is referring to is the difference in the type of lithium in Mexico compared to other countries. This mineral is usually extracted from boulders or salty deposits, but the clay found in Sonora is dispersed in soils that have not been extensively exploited.

-The law establishes that only the Mexican government can mine lithium.

I understand that, under Mexican law, the State has the exclusive right exploit lithiumBut you’ll need the private sector to commercialize it, so in addition to getting technologies that drive down the cost of Mexican lithium, it will be important to create those kinds of partnerships. Mexico Competitors not only in our hemisphere, but also beyond.

In this Monday’s edition, Millennium US government estimates released show that overall, Mexico, United States and Canada can become one Global powerhouse in lithium production, with 13.7 million tonnes in different deposits North America ahead of Asia and behind only South America in possession of the so-called white gold of the 21st century, a resource that powers vehicles as well as smartphones. Mexican reserves, according to government calculations, may amount to 600 billion dollars.

Nichols, in charge of US diplomacy on the continent and who has participated in the dialogue process between North American partners on renewable energy – one of the central objectives of the Biden administration – established that with the growing integration of the region and the technological revolution fueled by rechargeable batteries representedMexico You can make a lot of profit by taking advantage of the situation.

“Opportunities also exist in zero-emission hydrogen fuel. in the United States We have a huge opportunity to increase our capacity to produce hydrogen in abundance and Mexico now also has an opportunity to take advantage of the manufacturing and production chain that is being established around hydrogen fuel production technologies,” he said. Told.

-In this context, what is needed to exploit the benefits of an increasingly integrated North America?

Harmonized regulation is going to be very important, so that companies can operate on one side of the border or the other. above, for America The priority will be the continued use of green and renewable energy, as several US companies have told me that they want to expand production of their electric vehicles in Mexico, but they need to be able to connect their plants to renewable energy, so that They state that their vehicles were built with a low carbon footprint.

However, there is no reliable estimate of how much lithium will be needed for this. Mexico In this decade, the context and Nichols’ statements give an idea: more and more automotive manufacturers are announcing the start of assembling vehicles with lithium batteries in Mexican territory, such as Tesla, which builds its cars in Santa Catarina, Nuevo Will build a plant for Leon, or General Motors, will convert its plant in Joe Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, to electricity-only production from next year. Both are linked to Volkswagen, which plans to build its own electric models in Puebla by the end of 2024.

At this point, how does Nichols’ vision of the boundary between Mexico and the United States This is beginning to change, as opportunities are offered by the relocation of US companies based in Asia and the increasing installation of high-tech plants in states such as Arizona and Texas, with supply chains originating in Sonora, Nuevo León, to the south. and Tamaulipas.

For a long time the vision of the border has been about illegal migration, drug trafficking, smuggling, but it is now recognized that a different concept is emerging, that of complementarity, in which one side is feeding the other, especially Since then dozens of high-quality companies have emerged. Technology from the US.

I believe the frontier is a highly dynamic area and we’ve talked, for example, about the Sonora plan and the opportunities that exist for the production of solar energy in northern mexico and how it can create green jobs Mexico and the United States. integration between our electrical networks is going to feed these factories and with the approval of the semiconductor law (which obliges us to produce them) north america, To replace imports from Asia), investments of 50 billion have been announced, but in fact they are already equal to 200 billion. Having production in this hemisphere close to the United States is a matter of national security.

“This is a great opportunity,” concluded the American diplomat.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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