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.

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New emergency bid to appeal, block huge Nevada lithium mine – by Scott Sonner (Associated Press/ABC News – February 21, 2023)

RENO, Nev. – Conservationists are seeking an emergency court order to block construction of a Nevada lithium mine after a U.S. judge directed a federal agency to revisit part of its approval of the plans but allowed construction to go forward in the meantime.

Four environmental groups want U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno to temporarily halt any work at a subsidiary of Lithium Americas’ mine near the Oregon border until they can appeal her ruling earlier this month to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Nevada’s vast lithium deposits offer economic opportunity, difficult decisions – by Daniel Rothberg (The Nevada Independent – February 19, 2023)

Nevada, as with other arid parts of the globe such as Chile and Argentina, is awash with lithium. The soft, silvery white mineral is in high demand as a key component of batteries used to power electric vehicles in the transition away from fossil fuel-based economies.

For years, state officials have positioned Nevada as the central node in the domestic lithium supply chain, a place to extract, recycle and market the metal. But the new increasing demand — how it plays out and where mining is permitted — could have major consequences for local communities, the environment, public land and the management of a critical resource: water.

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Thacker Pass lithium mine clears most legal challenges, minus a judge ordered waste rock review – by Jeniffer Solis (Nevada Current – February 7, 2023)


A federal judge on Monday ordered regulators to reexamine a state permit allowing Lithium Americas Corp.’s Thacker Pass mine to produce and store mining waste on more than a thousand acres of public land.

Chief Judge Miranda M. Du, however, rejected opponents’ claims that the project would cause “unnecessary and undue degradation” to the environment or wildlife, meaning construction of the mine can continue.

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Massive new North American lithium mine closer to reality with GM investment in Lithium Americas – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 31, 2023)

Lithium Americas Corp. has landed a US$650-million financing with General Motors Co. that moves the Canadian lithium company closer to breaking ground on a massive lithium mine that should help alleviate a North American shortfall for the key battery metal.

Detroit-based GM is set to become the largest shareholder in Lithium Americas, with a stake of just under 10 per cent, and it will also be entitled to exclusive supplies of the lithium carbonate produced during the first 10 years of the mine’s operation.

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States see lithium rush for EVs as environmentalists urge caution – by Zack Budryk (The Hill – January 20, 2023)

Nevada and other states are poised to rake in huge benefits from a boom in lithium mining for batteries pushed by federal incentives as U.S. demand surges for electric vehicles (EVs).

Environmentalists, however, are warning amid investments from the Biden-backed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that a heavy-handed approach to lithium mining could bring many of the same problems associated with fossil fuel extraction.

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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.

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Fate of Thacker Pass lithium mine permit to be decided soon, with 1872 Mining Law a focus – by Daniel Rothberg (Nevada Independent – January 8, 2023)

The interpretation of a 150-year-old mining law could be a part of whether a U.S. District Court judge upholds the federal government’s approval of a massive lithium mine — a project that has faced challenges from a local rancher, environmental groups and Native American tribes.

In legal briefs over the past two years, the mine’s opponents have challenged federal permitting of the planned Thacker Pass mine north of Winnemucca. Federal land managers, they argued, fast-tracked the project and did not adequately consider a number of issues in its environmental review — the mine’s footprint on wildlife habitat, groundwater, air quality and Indigenous sites.

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Biden’s agenda, lithium mine, tribes, greens collide in Reno – by Scott Sonner (Associated Press – January 5, 2023)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A high-stakes, yearslong legal battle over a huge lithium mine planned in Nevada resumes Thursday with arguments from lawyers for the mining company, the U.S. agency that approved it and the rancher, tribes and conservationists fighting the project.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du has refused twice over the past year to grant temporary injunctions sought by tribal leaders who say the mine site is on sacred land where their ancestors were massacred by the U.S. Cavalry in 1865.

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There’s a lithium mining boom, but it’s not a jobs bonanza – by Camila Domonoske (Nevada Public Radio – December 5, 2022)

The town of Tonopah, Nev., was born out of a silver rush. A frantic race to extract a natural resource created a town of more than 10,000 people — for a while. Today, Tonopah is home to a little over 2,000 people. But there’s a new mining boom in town.

You can see it when you check in at the old Mitzpah Hotel, all faded glory, ghost stories and tales about Wyatt Earp. Above the cash register, next to a chandelier, a screen advertises a lithium exploration company. And forty minutes outside of town, Silver Peak lithium mine is in the process of doubling production.

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In remote Nevada valley, race for more lithium comes down to water – Daniel Rothberg (Nevada Independent – October 31, 2022)

There is an otherworldly feel to the crystalline-blue evaporation ponds that sit in Clayton Valley, an arid area in Nevada’s least populated county, Esmeralda. From above, the ponds look like a grid of pooled water arranged in a gradient that moves from a deep-sea blue to a light-sky tone. The man-made desert pools contain what is naturally underneath the ground: water.

Pumps, drilled deep into the Earth, pull brine from an underground aquifer, and pipes move the salty water into the expansive holding ponds. This is not just any water. It is rich in lithium, a mineral needed for electric cars and large-scale storage batteries, technologies in high demand as countries and industries seek to decarbonize national economies and electric grids.

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In the search for the lithium that will power our future, these three women see a bigger lesson – by Dennis Wagner ( – October 10, 2022)

Three women trek into the barren Nevada desert, boots crunching down a wash until one of them stops at an overhang, pulls out a geology pick, and chips away a chunk of rock. Over the next few minutes, and during hours of interviews, they explain the relationship between this stone and the battery that powers your electric car.

They talk about prehistoric volcanoes, subterranean brine lakes, advanced technology and the mineral that is changing the future of our planet. Lithium. This curiosity of the periodic table is an element so sensitive it can’t be found alone in nature. The pure white metal, when exposed to air, promptly oxidizes and turns black.

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Princeton sells most holdings in Lithium Americas, Protect Thacker Pass argues not enough – by Lia Opperman and Miriam Waldvogel (Daily Princetonian – October 6, 2022)

The University sold the majority of its stake in the Lithium Americas Corporation during the second quarter of 2022, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings released over the summer. As of last filing, the University’s holdings in the company are around $4.5 million, down from $92 million earlier this year.

Still, Protect Thacker Pass, a Nevada-based coalition of activists, has argued that the University’s holdings in the company remain unacceptable. Max Wilbert, the co-founder of Protect Thacker Pass, said, “We need far deeper and more significant change, including an end to car manufacturing, to stop the [ecological] crisis we’re in.” According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lithium is used in most of today’s electric vehicles.

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NGM unlocking synergies by consolidating mines, teams and processing facilities – Bristow (Mining Weekly – September 23, 2022)

US-based Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) continues to demonstrate the impact of Barrick Gold’s strategy of combining the best assets with the best people as new projects and prospects secure its future as a high-quality, long-life operation for decades to come, says NGM chairperson Mark Bristow.

Speaking during a visit by a group of equity analysts and investors to the development of the Goldrush underground project, the openpit operations and processing facilities at Cortez, and the Third Shaft project and core shack at Turquoise Ridge, Bristow said NGM had unlocked significant synergies by consolidating mines, teams, processing facilities and landholdings.

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The Race for US Lithium Hinges on a Fight Over a Nevada Mine – by Daniel Moore (Bloomberg News – September 5, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — The high-desert mountain pass overlooking alfalfa fields and RV parks doesn’t look like a battleground that will shape the country’s clean energy future.

But when the rock samples here are pulverized, pulled apart and mixed with chemicals, they yield a metal increasingly seen as white gold: lithium, a critical ingredient for batteries used in electric vehicles, solar energy storage, and consumer electronics.

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