Pilot processing plant for Sonora lithium project.
Mexico has been swept up in the global quest for lithium, a key ingredient in electric-car batteries and energy-storage products, thanks to the discovery of a large lithium reserve in the northern state of Sonora. But while some welcome a private joint venture’s plans to extract the lithium, citing the economic potential, others worry the project will cause pollution, tax scarce water supplies and create social dislocation. The deposit, touted as one of the world’s largest, will be exploited by a joint venture formed by Bacanora Lithium of the United Kingdom and Ganfeng Lithium of China. Work is slated to start this year, with production to begin in 2022. Participants say an estimated 35,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate will be produced annually by the project, which calls for open-pit mining of ores and kiln-processing of them in a plant on site in Sonora. Counting the... [Log in to read more]