Nevada lithium mine breaks ground despite Indigenous opposition – by Hilary Beaumont (Al Jazeera – March 15, 2023)

Los Angeles, California, the US – Construction is under way at the Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada after a federal court denied opponents’ requests for an injunction. Lithium Americas, a mining company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, said in a news release this month that workers were drilling at the site and building infrastructure, including water pipelines.

General Motors, which wants United States lithium for electric vehicle batteries, announced earlier this year that it would invest $650m in Lithium Americas if the mine cleared legal and regulatory hurdles.

Gary McKinney of the local Shoshone-Paiute Indigenous tribe said he was disappointed to learn that mine construction had already started.

“There was not any justice for the environment,” McKinney told Al Jazeera, noting that mineral extraction for the energy transition was an “absurd” prospect that would destroy ecosystems rather than preserve them for future generations. “It’s not logical,” he said. “It’s going to leave contamination behind; the only question is how much.”

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