MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Senate passed a bill Tuesday to nationalize lithium mining and extraction. The bill was submitted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is expected to sign it into law.
The law says a state-run company will have exclusive rights to mine lithium, a mineral used in electric car batteries and other devices. Such a company does not yet exist, and the Mexican government has no experience in mining lithium.
The bill passed in the lower house of Congress Monday, marking a near-record speed of approval in both house of Congress.
Only one lithium mine in Mexico, operated by a Chinese firm, is anywhere close to starting production. It was not clear if that mine in northern Mexico would be taken over by the government.
The bill on lithium had been part of an electrical energy reform bill that failed to win approval Sunday in the lower house.