Canadian miner Advanced Lithium is holding preliminary talks with Mexican state-run lithium company LitioMx to form a joint venture to exploit the mineral, the firm’s chief executive officer, Allan Barry, said on Thursday, March 2nd
“At this point in time the discussions are in a preliminary phase. LitioMx is preparing its wish list of what would need to be done to form a joint venture,” Barry said in a phone interview.
Canada’s Advanced Lithium has permits for exploration mainly in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi and is seeking this joint venture to start exploiting the metal, used in batteries to power electric vehicles, Barry noted.
LitioMx head Pablo Taddei told Reuters earlier in February that future lithium mining joint ventures must give the government a majority stake.
“I have no problem with having a smaller piece of a big pie… There are creative ways to come up with something that works for everybody and I’m interested in a win-win situation for us and them,” Barry said when asked about Taddei’s remarks.
Both parties have formally met twice, Barry said.
“We have only had exploratory meetings as with the rest of the actors in the sector that have approached us. These are very preliminary conversations and there is no concrete proposal from either side,” Mexico’s Taddei said when asked about the meetings.
One of the main attractions of the region is German automaker BMW’s battery manufacturing plant, which will be constructed starting 2027, Barry said, adding the proximity will help it align with the government’s push to keep lithium developments in the country.
German automaker BMW announced on Feb. 3 it will invest 800 million euros in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi to produce high-voltage batteries and fully electric cars.
Carmaker Tesla is considering building an electric battery plant in central Mexico, according to Martha Delgado, a Mexican deputy foreign minister.
The developments come at a time when Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is aiming to lure foreign companies to the country and so Mexico can benefit from a trend of nearshoring – in which firms operate part of a business in nearby country – while maintaining control of the resources.
Lopez Obrador has insisted lithium is property of Mexicans and should stay in the country.
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