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Kallanish Kallanish

Knowledge matters Knowledge matters

September, 17th 2021

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JUL 26

LITHIUM: Judge permits exacavation work at planned Nevada lithium mine


A US federal judge has ruled that Canada-based Lithium Americas and its subsidiary Lithium Nevada can begin preliminary excavating at the planned Thacker Pass lithium mine site in northwest Nevada, Kallanish reports.

The ruling came from US District Judge Miranda Du in Reno, Nevada, in a lawsuit filed by four conservation groups. They were seeking a temporary restraining order to block the excavating while the legal fight proceeds. They failed to prove that the excavation work would cause major damage, the judge said in her ruling The excavating is needed to determine if the site contains historical artifacts tied to Native American groups. The project cannot proceed without such a review. A total of 21 sites on the property are involved.

Last February, the mine opponents had filed the lawsuit, arguing that the Trump administration had erred in approving the Thacker Pass project and that it would result in adverse environmental impacts.

The project includes 2,306 hectares of public lands about 85 km northwest of Winnemucca in Nevada’s Humboldt County. The open-pit mine would be developed in what the company says is one of the biggest lithium deposits in the US near the Nevada-Oregon border.

Lithium production from the project’s first phase is expected to begin in third quarter 2022 with production of 20,000 tonnes/year for 3.5 years through the processing plant. The second phase is expected to boost production to 60,000 t/y starting in 2026 for electric vehicle batteries. Thacker Pass is estimated to contain 179 million t of proven and probable reserves of lithium ore grading 3,283 parts-per-million lithium. It is estimated to contain 3.1m t of lithium carbonate equivalent. The mine is projected to operate for 46 years.

Bob Downing USA