Lithium is in Silver Peak, But the US’s ‘White Gold’ Rush Could Devastate Tribal Lands

Across the State of Nevada, there are more than 17K prospecting claims for lithium.

It’s a soft metal called “white gold” by investors because of its scarcity and how valuable it is as a clean energy technology component.

The United States major lithium mine is in Silver Peak, 3 hours outside of Las Vegas, nestled among the mountains and desert scrub – and close to tribal lands.

Steve Sisolak, Nevada’s governor, has said that his state can be to lithium “what Wall Street is to finance, or what Silicon Valley is to technology.”

But it doesn’t come for free – environmentalists and Native American groups worry about the impact on tribal land.

Three-quarters of all known lithium deposits in the US are found near or on tribal land. While it’s nice to consider a turn away from the environmental disaster of fossil fuel mining, it may not be much better for the land to turn to lithium mining.

Shelley Harjo, a member of the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes, said that plans for a controversial new lithium mine in north Nevada “will turn what is left of my ancestral homelands into a sacrifice zone for electric car batteries.”

One Comment

  • It is a very difficult dilemma. In order to live comfortably, humans started to destroy nature. But nothing was reduced from human sorrow. Maybe early humans lived happier

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