Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is ready to send a bill to Congress next week declaring lithium a “strategic mineral” and reserving future exploration and mining for the government if lawmakers fail to pass his constitutional reform tightening state control of the electricity market.
The country’s lower house is set to vote on Sunday on a constitutional energy overhaul that includes nationalizing lithium and guaranteeing state-owned utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad, or CFE, 54% of the market.
Opposition parties, whose votes are needed to pass it, have said they will not back it, as the initiative has generated international backslash, particularly from the United States.
US climate envoy John Kerry and ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar have both expressed concern about the proposed energy reform, known by its Spanish initials LIE.
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