RENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal judge in Nevada has dealt another legal setback to Native American tribes trying to halt construction of one of the biggest lithium mines in the world. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du granted the government’s motion to dismiss their claims the mine is being built illegally near the sacred site of an 1865 massacre along the Nevada-Oregon line.
But she said in last week’s order the three tribes suing the Bureau of Land Management deserve another chance to amend their complaint to try to prove the agency failed to adequately consult with them as required by the National Historic Preservation Act.
“Given that the court has now twice agreed with federal defendants (and) plaintiffs did not vary their argument … the court is skeptical that plaintiffs could successfully amend it. But skeptical does not mean futile,” Du wrote Nov. 9.
She also noted part of their case is still pending on appeal at the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, which indicated last month it likely will hear oral arguments in February as construction continues at Lithium Nevada’s mine at Thacker Pass about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Reno.
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