Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Lithium Mining Proposal in Northern Nevada Threatens Paiute and Shoshone Land


(Photo from the Protect Thacker Pass Facebook page)

Situated between the high peaks and low valley floors of northern Nevada is Thacker Pass, an expanse of land that is bordered from the north and south by the Montana and Double H mountain ranges. The pass is in traditional Paiute and Shoshone land and holds great ecological and cultural significance, yet a new proposal to build an open-pit lithium mine threatens to disturb the area.

Located atop an extinct supervolcano called the McDermitt Caldera, Thacker Pass sits on one of the largest lithium deposits in the United States. According to the company Lithium Nevada, who will be running the project, the operation has a lifespan of at least 46 years. The lithium would be used in renewable energy technology like batteries for electric cars.

The process for approving the mine has been sped up in the past year due in part to former President Trump's passage of Executive Order 13927. This order expedited the environmental impact statements (EIS) of numerous energy and natural resource projects across the country as coronavirus cases soared throughout the United States.


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