Santamarina Steta

Lithium For Nobody: Santamarina Y Steta

  • Steam reforms. They forgot transitory provisions! which will bring rain to shelters.
  • The government has no resources for the exploration, exploitation, and use of the mineral.

Mexico City. April 29, 2022. Mariano Calderón, an expert partner in constitutional matters at the legal firm Santamarina y Steta, pointed out that the reforms to the Mining Law are intended to create a State monopoly on lithium and cancel the participation of private investment in the entire value chain for the exploitation of this and other minerals.“They obey the same dogma of the constitutional reform initiative in energy matters that did not obtain a majority in Congress. Thus, they will stop granting concessions or permits if the mineral is considered strategic. The problem is that this dogma incurs a serious constitutional flaw, and the federal government has neither the money nor the knowledge to exploit it. Not even to create the institute he intends,” he said.

The expert explained that both the president and the legislative majority that promoted the reforms to the Mining Law did not analyze its scope in-depth and -incredibly- forgot to establish transitory provisions, which leaves all the concessions granted and in force in full uncertainty to date, which will surely be defended via legal support since they have already acquired rights that will be affected by the approved text. “Of course, this can be considered unconstitutional, and those individuals affected by the legal reform can resort to amparo proceedings or investment arbitrations under commercial treaties,” he reported.

Mariano Calderón added that the doctrine or principle that no type of private investment can participate in the mineral value chain goes against what the country requires, which are investments, business opportunities, and employment for Mexicans. Not a bureaucracy that will now be able to cancel entire sectors of the mining industry at its discretion. In exchange, it promotes the establishment of a State monopoly that will not have opportunities to enter or compete in the lithium market.

"It is also mounted based on an original error and a serious Constitutional failure due to this ideology, given that the same article 27 of the Constitution has always established that the ownership of the land, water, and all subsoil minerals belong to the nation and that it will correspond to the State to see for its best use, through assignments or concessions. What the initiative is doing is excluding lithium from the scope of private investment. Now the federal government will have to allocate budgets to create a new body and give it resources to even start working. It is not said to invest in the exploration, exploitation, and use of the mineral. Given the scarcity of resources and the national and international economic challenges that we are experiencing, we are practically burying lithium for many years,” he concluded.

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