La Jornada – They warn of the rising costs of lithium exploitation

La Jornada – They warn of the rising costs of lithium exploitation

There are currently at least 31 lithium exploration projects in Zacatecas, Coahuila, Sonora and San Luis Potosi, from companies in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Extracting this mineral, in arid regions like those in these entities, means evaporating 2 million liters of water per ton of lithium salts, using two thousand tons of chemicals in the process, as well as diverting from the territory.

Alida Azamar, a university researcher, is the study’s author Lithium in Mexico, facts and lies, Note the above. He notes that in Chile there are lithium mines that run more than 600 liters of water per minute, “a huge amount of areas with a delicate ecological balance due to the small amount of liquid available.”

Regarding the nationalization of deposits of this mineral in the country, “What is being discussed is the inability to exploit it efficiently, as there are currently no technology, experience, resources to invest or connections in the production networks that consume this mineral, which assumes that there is a capital difficulty for these types of projects to be economically successful,” notes Azamar in the report included in the book Mining in Mexico: a social, environmental and economic panorama. Secretariat for Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and UAM Xochimilco.

China dominates the sector, so the entire value chain is very constrained and “could limit our country’s capabilities to implement the project without facing serious obstacles if it is not supported by strong trading partners. It may mean that inflexible regulation affects the interest of foreign investment.”

He adds that it is necessary to “walk towards less aggressive and less greedy extraction, because it is often extracted to end up taking minerals or other natural resources abroad, value chains are not created, and damage is caused to populations and ecosystems, so, in the medium term or Long, we can end the planet, and there will be no technology that gets us more water, more minerals, and in general more natural resources to keep us human.”

The extraction of lithium on the planet has increased steadily in the past two decades due to the demand for new technologies based on it, both industrial and military.

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