MEXICO CITY, Nov 9 (Reuters) – A recent government push to cancel Ganfeng Lithium’s concessions has forced the Chinese company to indefinitely postpone its target to start mining the battery metal in Mexico, a company executive told Reuters.
Mexican mining authorities have issued a notice to Ganfeng’s local subsidiaries indicating nine of its concessions had been canceled, saying it had failed to comply with minimum investment requirements, the company said in an August filing.
“Once we heard from the government about their intentions to undertake these actions, the timetable for development moved,” Peter Secker, head of the Sonora Lithium project, said on Wednesday, adding the miner cannot continue its plans until the issues with the government are resolved, for which there is no clear timeframe.
Construction work for Ganfeng’s $800 million production plant has not started, which had already made a 2023 production start target unreachable even without the government challenge. Lithium, an essential component of electric vehicles, is coveted by rechargeable battery makers worldwide.