Mexico is moving ahead with plans to nationalize its emerging lithium industry after a member of the ruling Morena party introduced a draft bill in parliament last week, which calls for the battery metal to be deemed the exclusive property of the nation, with production controlled by the state.
Alejandro Armenta, head of the Senate’s finance commission, is proposing the creation of a new state-owned entity, LitioMex, to regulate lithium mining.
“It is not about closing the door to investment,” Mena said in an online session of the parliament. “There needs to be regulation (…) We are currently giving away our lithium to Chinese, Americans and Canadians (…) We shouldn’t be a paradise for exploitation. That’s called looting.”
Mexico has already scared private investors away by renegotiating gas pipeline contracts that the government declared exorbitant. It has also attempted to change regulations for renewable energy projects.
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