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Effective as of 20 April 2022

In brief

On 20 April 2022, the Decree amending and adding several provisions of the Mining Law, presented by the President of the United Mexican States on 17 April 2022 before the Chamber of Deputies (“Reform“) was published in the Federal Official Gazette. The main purpose of the Reform is to exclusively reserve to the Mexican State the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium located in Mexican territory.


By means of the Reform, the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium are exclusively reserved for the Mexican State. By virtue of the foregoing, lithium is declared as public use and no concessions, licenses, contracts, permits or authorizations will be granted with respect to the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium and other minerals declared as strategic by the Mexican State, in terms of Articles 27 and 28 of the Mexican Constitution, to the entities established in Article 10 of the Mining Law (individuals and legal entities of Mexican nationality, ejidos and agrarian communities, indigenous groups and communities). Mining reserve zones are considered to be those in which there are lithium deposits and lithium is recognized as a national heritage.

Likewise, it is established that the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium will be carried out by the decentralized public agency determined by the Federal Executive Branch in terms of the applicable provisions. Such agency will manage and control the lithium economic value chains. It is also provided that the Mexican Geological Service will support said decentralized agency in connection with the location and recognition of geological areas where there are probable lithium reserves.

The public agency mentioned in the preceding paragraph will be created by the Federal Executive Branch within 90 business days following the effective date of the Reform (which is the day following its publication in the Federal Official Gazette).

Our Firm is at your service for any doubt or assistance regarding this matter.

Author

Benjamín Torres leads Baker McKenzie's Energy, Mining & Infrastructure (EMI) Practice Group in Mexico. He joined the firm in 1998. He is recognized as "Highly Regarded Lawyer" by IFLR, and is also listed as a recommended lawyer by Who’s Who Legal for oil, gas, and project finance in Mexico. He is recognized as one of the country's leading lawyers in the energy and natural resources area (Band 1) by both LEGAL 500. For several years, he has been acknowledged by the magazine Petróleo & Energía as one of the top 100 leaders in Mexico's energy industry and he currently serves in its Editorial Board. Additionally, in 2021, Benjamin was awarded the recognition of "Stand Lawyer" during the Stellar Performance Stand Out Talent Survey of Acritas and Chambers Latin America. Benjamin is the President of the Energy Committee in AmCham Mexico. In addition, he has lectured for the Energy and Sustainability Law Masters Degree at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and taught Energy Law classes at Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez and Business Law at ITESM Campus Ciudad Juarez. He has served at the Energy Editorial Boards of Reforma and Norte newspapers, and is a member of Potentia (private oil and energy business club). He is also a member of the Advisory Board of GRI, Chair of the Mexican Chapter of ISME (International Society for Mexican Energy) and a member of Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN).

Author

Jorge joined Baker McKenzie in 1986. He is a Principal in the Mexico City and Juárez offices. He is currently the head of the Firm’s National Transactional Practice Group in Mexico. He is the Commercial Notary Public (Corredor Público) Number Four for the State of Chihuahua. He was an associate professor at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey from 1986 to 1992 and associate visiting professor at its graduate programs in 1995 and 1996. He was Chairman of the Economic Development Council (DECJ) in Ciudad Juárez from 2006 to 2008 and of the Council for the Economic Development for the State of Chihuahua (CODECH) in 2008. He is also a former Chairman of the Mexican Institute of Financial Executives (IMEF).

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