US Lithium Mine Set to Destroy the Environment, Cultural Heritage Site, and Displace Farmers: Watchdog Group

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Located within an extinct supervolcano, the Thacker Pass lithium deposit is the largest known lithium resource in the United States. And once Lithium Nevada gets its open-pit mine up and running, it’s expected to net billions in revenue and millions in tax generation.

It will also destroy Peehee Mu’huh, a sacred site for the Fort McDermitt Tribe, devastate the local environment, and displace farmers and ranchers in the area, John Hadder, the director of Great Basin Resource Watch (GBRW), a mining watchdog group, told The Epoch Times.

Despite that, earlier this year, permits for the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine project were approved on an expedited schedule.

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Exact estimates vary, but it’s generally agreed that the electric vehicle (EV) market will be worth trillions soon. And because most EVs rely on lithium-ion batteries, mining this element is lucrative, to say the least—some estimates put the value at $94.4 billion by 2025.

However, right now, the United States is heavily dependent on China for minerals, something the Biden administration admitted was an economic and national security threat.

Consequently, President Joe Biden directed the United States to increase domestic mineral production to combat the threat and benefit from the EV boom. Enter Lithium Americas’ subsidiary, Lithium Nevada Corp. (LNC), and Thacker Pass.

Originally discovered in 1975, Thacker Pass is located in Humboldt County in northern Nevada and is estimated to contain 3.1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent. 3.1 million tonnes are equivalent to over 6.8 billion pounds.

More importantly, once it’s entirely up and running, Thacker Pass will produce 60,000 tonnes per annum (tpa), roughly enough to make 6 million EVs a year.

By Katie Spence

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