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The country that nationalizes lithium deposits, an essential raw material in the manufacture of electric batteries

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Mexico took a step towards the nationalization of lithium, a metal essential for the manufacture of electric batteries that must replace car heat engines to fight climate change, AFP notes on Monday.

Lithium is part of Mexico’s heritage, which excludes any new concessions to private companies, according to a reform of the mining law adopted by the majority deputies of left-wing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Mexico has significant reserves in the northern state of Sonora, the Mining Technology website reported in 20019. The projects are currently in the exploration phase.

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Previous governments have granted eight concessions, which will remain in force.

Approved by 298 votes out of a total of 500 deputies, the law must still be voted on in the Senate, where the ruling Morena party also holds the majority.

Transmitted to the House a day before, the law was passed in a single day of debate, following the rejection on Sunday of a constitutional reform aimed at strengthening the state’s role in the electricity market.

The lithium law was passed by a simple majority, while constitutional reform requires a two-thirds majority that the Mexican president does not have among deputies.

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This project to reform the electricity market has worried the United States, which has warned against “endless disputes” over the Mexico-United States-Canada free trade agreement.

President Lopez Obrador said opposition lawmakers who voted against his reform had committed an “act of betrayal of Mexico.”

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