Another Latin American corporation is considering nationalizing its lithium deposits.
Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said this week during a news conference detailing the country’s planned reforms, which include nationalizing lithium production, that the country can only phase out oil after domestic lithium production is begun.
It’s only one component of proposed constitutional changes to the electric power industry, which would see present lithium concessions revoked and future exploration and exploitation of the minerals regulated by the state.
However, the essential word here is “future.”
The firm does not currently have any lithium mines in operation. The nearest is a joint venture between Bacanora Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium, whose US$420 million Sonora project is set to begin production next year.
In all, the nation hosts just approximately 1.7 million tonnes, compared to Chile’s 8 million tonnes.
Mexico is basically a little fish in a huge pond with some big sharks, so it remains to be seen if a) nationalization occurs and b) how it affects supply growth.
MINERAL ESSENTIALS (ASX:ESS)
Last month, the $89 million company’s diamond drilling at the Cade and Davy deposits at its Pioneer Dome project in Washington encountered “abundant” spodumene from near surface.
MD According to Tim Spencer, this supports the possibility of surface mining at Dome North, with an upgrade for the present 11.2Mt at 1.21 percent lithium ore resource.
“We are optimistic that, subject to appropriate assay and metallurgical test work findings,” he added, “the recently completed diamond drilling will indicate that both the Cade and Davy deposits can be exploited to generate recoverable spodumene from surface.”
“We also plan to upgrade the drilled zones within the Mineral Resource from Inferred to Indicated status, therefore supporting our development roadmap.”
The recently completed air-core operation did not find any spodumene-bearing pegmatites, although the firm did intersect many pegmatites in the project’s southern and central sections.
NOVA MINERALS INC (ASX:NVA)
The Alaskan gold explorer with a market capitalization of $109 million has a controlling stake in the NASDAQ-listed lithium exploration Snow Lake Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ:LITM).
Drilling at the Thompson Brothers lithium deposits this week yielded spodumene-bearing intersections at all three locations, including:
Spodumene-bearing pegmatite ranging in depth from 422.12m to 447.47m, for a total depth of 25.35m;
a 10.55m to 20m junction; and
Two intercepts from 34.8m to 40.48m and 41.86m to 44.22m for a total of 8.04m,
Although all samples have been submitted for examination, Snow Lake CEO Phillip Gross believes the drilling’s performance to far “has given crucial confirmation to our goals of bringing a multi-decade resource to market.”
MINERALS FROM THE SCORPION (ASX:SCN)
A technical evaluation of the company’s Pharos project in Western Australia showed considerable rare metal and Lithium, Caesium, Tantalum (LCT) pegmatite potential along a 25-kilometer strike in February.
And, earlier this month, the $16 million corporation increased its striking length to 50 kilometers.
According to SCN, the interpreted LCT Pegmatite Emplacement Zone has now been expanded east of the newly acquired Poona Prospect into the Pharos Jacksons Reward Prospect region.
“As we continue to develop our understanding of this highly prospective and underexplored region, the doubling of the LCT pegmatite intrusion at Pharos clearly highlights the project area’s underlying lithium potential, and we look forward to updating the market with plans for exploration activity to begin shortly,” director Bronwyn Barnes said.
LITHIUM GLOBAL (ASX:GL1)
Earlier this week, the business attracted Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), which will acquire a 5% interest in the fast-growing lithium explorer after investing $30 million as a cornerstone investor.
MinRes manages the Wodgina and Mt Marion joint ventures in the Pilbara and Goldfields, respectively, not far from GL1’s Marble Bar and Manna operations.
MinRes will invest $13.6 million in the GL1 placement, which has increased by more than 500 percent since its initial public offering last year.
Another $11.3 million in shares will be given to institutional investors, with Suzhou receiving a $4.3 million placement to retain its 9.9 percent stake in the explorer.
The share price of the $323 billion corporation has risen 78 percent this year, from $1.14 to $2.03.