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  • Foto del escritorAnálisis Efectivo

Martin Gonzalez / Tesla and the lithium triangle


A late history of Douglass C. North.

Once again Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina are embarking on the search for pain, tragedy and ecological devastation for vast extensions of their sovereign territories, and with it, dragging the lives of the citizens who inhabit the lithium deposits to levels of greater marginalization. The voices of the new economic development in Latin America adjust to the popular idea that this will be the new WHITE OIL, and therein lies the tragedy.


For example, in the case of Mexico, the location of one of the largest lithium deposits internationally, located in the state of Sonora, was made known since 2019. "The state has one of the largest lithium resources in the world and benefits from being of high quality and scalable," highlighted the British company Bacanora Lithium and the Chinese company Ganfeng Lithium on their respective websites.


The impact of the discovery of this deposit was so great that the international firm Mining Technology placed the project as the most important in the mineral industry. LITHIUM has acquired such an important role in the economic markets that it is called "The Oil of the Future", since its use determines fundamental processes in the manufacture of batteries for electronic equipment, cars and cell phones, and it is even used in the production of ceramics and medicines.


While LITHIUM is emerging as "The New Oil", the parties are seeking to profit from a potential business worth billions of dollars. The Sonora deposit (Mexico) has probable reserves of 243 million tons. However, there is still a wide gap between the reality and the ambitions of its economic exploitation. Prices are already close to 12,000 dollars per ton. "What lithium is worth today in Mexico is 4.5 times the value of the sovereign foreign debt, which amounts to 11 trillion pesos. This is an answer to the economic disaster we have in our country", Mexican government officials have declared to the EFE news agency.


For its part, Peru, with FALCHANI (Canadian company Plateau Energy in charge of the project) estimates that it would be the first lithium deposit in rock discovered in South America and could become one of the largest mines in the world. The deposit, located in a prehistoric lake covered by lava in the northern part of the department of Puno, in southeastern Peru, would also contain 124 million pounds of uranium, which was originally the metal the operator was looking for when it made the surprising discovery. According to preliminary information, it could contain 2.5 million tons of lithium carbonate, setting up a new and complex geopolitical, economic, social and environmental scenario. Company executives estimate that Peru could start exporting 500 million dollars a year as of 2021.


And there are the cases of Bolivia with the Salar de Uyini in the Department of Oruro and Department of Potosi, and Argentina with the Salar del Hombre Muerto, Catamarca, which accumulate between these three countries alone, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, a little more than 60% of the world's lithium reserves for the next decades. However, the reflection will be to know if in the present decade Tesla Energy Ventures will look at these deposits as an opportunity for economic development in the area, or is it self sufficient with its own reserves in the Esmeralda formation in Clayton Valley, Nevada.


P.S.: It would be interesting for the countries in question to re-read the report: Selective Extraction of Lithium from Clay Minerals, TESLA. And to know if they are walking in the right direction, or is it just another LATIN AMERICAN dream, quoted by the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, Douglass C. North in "Growth and Welfare in Latin America". North in "Growth and Welfare in the American Past, Prentice-Hall, 1974".


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