• Mexico’s Senate passes legislation to nationalise lithium reserves
  • Auroch picks up new lithium project 340km from Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada
  • Lithium Australia completes final 10% acquisition of Envirostream

 

All your ASX lithium news for Wednesday, April 20.

 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) introduced fast-track legislation this week aimed nationalising the country’s lithium reserves after his controversial power reforms – which also included a proposal to nationalise lithium – failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed for constitutional changes.

Essentially, the new modified law states that lithium exploration, exploitation and use will be reserved for a new state-owned entity, and halts concessions or permits for lithium projects.

It was passed by the lower house on Monday before being approved by the Senate yesterday – with AMLO stating shortly afterwards that all contracts to mine lithium in the country will need to be reviewed.

Mexico’s association of mining engineers (AIMMGM) says that changing the mining law isn’t the way forward, and that constitutional change is what’s needed – and that the move will scare away investors.

 


It remains to be seen what this means for Ganfeng’s US$420m Sonora lithium project, which is expected to start production in 2H24.

 

Here’s how ASX lithium stocks are tracking today:

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A total of 35 stocks were in the green today, with 23 flatlining and 57 in the red.

 

Who’s got news out today?

AUROCH MINERALS (ASX:AOU)

Auroch has announced a strategic acquisition of a new lithium project within 340km of Tesla’s Reno Gigafactory.

The company has inked a deal to acquire an 80% interest in the Nevada Lithium project near the historic silver mining town of Tonopah and includes 65kmof ground across the Traction, San Antone, Heller and Lone Mountain prospect areas – which are considered highly prospective for large sedimentary-hosted lithium deposits.

Notably, Nevada hosts some of the world’s largest deposits of sedimentary lithium, including Ioneer’s (ASX:INR)Rhyolite Ridge, American Lithium’s TLC project and global lithium giant Albemarle’s Silver Peak mine 45km to the west, which is the only producing lithium operation in North America.

Auroch says the project has seen shockingly brief lithium exploration despite covering the same lacustrine sedimentary formation that hosts other large lithium deposits in the region like TLC.

“We are very excited by the potential of the NLP to host significant lithium mineralisation in a stable pro-mining jurisdiction in Nevada, USA,” MD Aidan Platel said.

“The project areas cover the same geological formations that host very large lithium deposits in the region, including the TLC Lithium Project nearby.

“The acquisition adds to and supplements the company’s increasing focus on battery metals and represents a tremendous opportunity to enhance value for Auroch shareholders.

“We look forward to completing the acquisition and initiating exploration as soon as possible.”

 

LITHIUM AUSTRALIA (ASX:LIT)

Lithium Australia has completed its final 10% acquisition of interest in Envirostream and now owns 100% of the asset – which it says is timely since Envirostream’s battery collection rate has risen since the inception of the Battery Stewardship Scheme (BSS) in early 2022.

“As Australia’s only EPA-permitted and licensed recycler of mixed batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, Envirostream is well-placed to keep spent batteries out of landfill while providing as much sustainable feed material as possible for the manufacture of new lithium-ion batteries,” MD Adrian Griffin said.

“This is particularly important in the current climate of supply shortages and surging prices for battery minerals.

“To meet surging demand, Envirostream is also planning to expand its activities into key population centres on Australia’s east coast, as well as offshore.”