MEXICO CITY, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Mexico’s economy secretary, Graciela Márquez, ruled out on Thursday that the Latin American country has one of the largest lithium deposits in the world, as has been projected.
For months, the operators of a project in the northern state of Sonora have warned about the enormous capacity of the deposit, which would contain resources equivalent to the total reserves held by countries with large deposits of the mineral, such as Bolivia and Chile.
At the beginning of 2020, the undersecretary of Mining told Reuters that potential investors from at least five countries have expressed their interest in Mexico to enter the nascent lithium extraction and production industry.
However, the official assured that the deposits found in the country have a “very low content” of the mineral, essential for the manufacture of car batteries, computers and mobile devices.
“Mexico does not have the largest lithium deposit (in the world),” Márquez said during an appearance in the Senate. “It is very important, and here I want to emphasize, when this estimate of the lithium deposit was made, all the clay was taken into account, but those tons of clay are not lithium,” he added.
According to information from the authorities, in Mexico there are currently three lithium projects in the exploration stage, including the Sonora mine.
A spokesperson for its operators, Britain’s Bacanora Lithium and China’s Ganfeng, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
(Report by Noé Torres, edited by Diego Oré)