Get ready for more disputes about what’s ‘mine’ and theirs – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – July 1, 2024)

Eleven years ago, The Northern Miner ran a story titled “How Mexico reclaimed its mantle as a top mining nation.” The piece recounted how the nation opened up investment and in 2012, became the No. 1 jurisdiction in Latin America for spending on mineral exploration.

Last year, Mexico was the top jurisdiction in another category: the target of most new requests for arbitrations at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The 10 new claims registered against it in 2023 edged out El Salvador’s nine.

They aren’t all mining-related claims as outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, elected in 2018, put in place protectionist policies affecting its entire economy. López Obrador’s term is up in November, when his protégé and president elect Claudia Sheinbaum following a June vote, will take over.

But the damage has been done as López Obrador nationalized Mexico’s lithium resources, blocked new mineral concessions for the past six years and proposed a ban on open pit mining. Several miners, including GoldGroup Resources, Silver Bull Resources, Almaden Minerals and China’s Ganfeng Lithium have all registered new claims against the country with the ICSID over the past year and a half.

For the rest of this article: