Ruling in Thacker Pass lithium mine case expected within months – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – January 5, 2023)

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge said on Thursday she will rule “in the next couple of months” on whether former President Donald Trump erred in 2021 when he approved Lithium Americas Corp’s (LAC.TO) Thacker Pass lithium mining project in northern Nevada.

The timeline further delays the company’s plans to build North America’s largest lithium mine even as Washington pushes to boost domestic production of metals crucial to the green energy transition and wean the country off Chinese supplies.

Chief Judge Miranda Du of the federal court in Reno, Nevada, held a nearly 3-hour hearing on Thursday to review allegations from ranchers, environmentalists and Indigenous groups that the mine would permanently scar a region home to wildlife and key water sources for livestock.

Du, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, brushed aside an argument from Lithium Americas that the court should give extra weight to the mine’s potential in the global fight against climate change.

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