The study, coordinated by Dr. Alida Azamar Alonso, a researcher in UAM’s Department of Economic Production, reports that they counted 69 sites in Mexico with lithium, 11 deposits in different explorations.
And he warned that this makes it necessary to warn of the consequences of its management, especially the environmental effects, because it requires an extensive use of water.
He adds that the problem is not with the projects themselves, but the consequences and their management, because although lithium is not as harmful as other metallic minerals, available studies have already pointed to higher social and environmental costs, particularly in water use and emissions from chemical processes.
The researcher explained that although there are only 11 fields being explored in different operations today, at least four of them are located in Jalisco and Puebla and two in Sonora were selected by the government for projects jointly with Germany. The United States, Japan and Great Britain.
The academic added that the remaining seven, it seems, have already been awarded to the private sector and are located in the states of San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Baja California and Sonora.
The doctor, a graduate of the Complutense University of Madrid, stated that among these deposits the best and most well known is the Bacanucci deposit, Sonora, which is supposed to contain 243 million tons, which is a world-class quantity.
The extractive plan has an area of about 100,000 hectares, an area that may increase over time and is roughly equal to the size of the entirety of Mexico City.
He said that there are calls to nationalize this mineral along the lines of the Andean region, but in Mexico the government realizes its inability to efficiently utilize this resource, because it does not have the technology, experience or the amount of money to invest in a project of this category.
He explained that the entire lithium value chain is highly focused, particularly by China, who said, “Mexico is prohibited from doing business with it, unless it seeks permission from the United States, as provided by the Mexico-US-Canada Treaty. . . (TMEC) ‘.
He warns that this situation created by TMEC could spark the same tensions that led to the coup in Bolivia last year.
Azmar Alonso warned that the discovery of lithium banks in the country aroused great interest from politicians and businessmen because of the huge economic opportunities it represented.