Northern Nevada News : Tribes’ Latest Challenge Thacker Pass Mine Rejected by Court

Kena Adams
May 1, 2023

RENO, Nev.— Construction is underway on the highly-contested Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada after a court ruled earlier this month against the tribes trying to stop the mine. 

After U.S. District Court Judge Miranda M. Du ruled on Feb. 6 against conservation organizations, a local rancher, and several tribes who filed suit to stop the project, three separate federally-recognized tribes filed an additional lawsuit on Feb. 16 to stop the construction of the mine. 

The Thacker Pass region is considered sacred by the tribes who call it “Peehee Mu’huh,” or Rotten Moon in the Paiute language because, in 1865, federal cavalry killed more than 30 men, women, and children and then left their bodies to rot.  

Lithium Nevada Corporation (LNC), the subsidiary of Lithium Americas, said in a news release that it began construction of what is being touted as the largest lithium mine in North America. According to the company, lithium reserves at Thacker Pass can support the production of up to one million electric vehicles a year for up to 40 years. Production of materials could begin as soon as the end of 2026.