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Environmental leadership is a core value of Lithium Americas. Thacker Pass has been engineered to minimize the environmental footprint, by avoiding sensitive environmental habitat and employing the best available environmental control technologies.
Over a seven-year period, we collected baseline environmental data required for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and have developed comprehensive plans to mitigate impacts to wildlife, water and air. Extensive monitoring will be conducted during operations. .
Thacker Pass will draw less than 1% of the total approximate 325,000 acre-feet per year pumped from Humboldt County. All process water will be recycled in a closed-loop cooling circuit, as a cleaner alternative to evaporation coolers, allowing us to save more than 1,000 acre-feet of water each year.
By entering into agreements with two ranchers to utilize the State of Nevada Conservation Credit System, we’ve mitigated any potential indirect impacts to Sage Grouse, even though studies completed to date do not anticipate direct or indirect impacts to Sage Grouse.
We established the Great Basin Sagebrush Restoration Fund in 2017 with the University of Nevada, Reno to develop technologies that improve desert restoration so we will be better equipped to reclaim the land concurrently during mining. In fact, the coated seed technology developed through our funding is now being commercialized for others to use. More information about the Sagebrush Restoration Fund can be found here
Lithium production from Thacker Pass could enable a US domestic supply chain, bringing down the overall carbon emissions , transport costs and risks associated with manufacturing lithium-ion batteries.
Currently most of the world’s lithium is mined in Australia or South America and only 1% is mined in the US. Lithium concentrate is shipped mostly to China, to be processed into battery chemicals. These lithium chemicals are then often shipped to other parts of Asia, the US or Europe to make into cathodes and install in battery packs. The batteries are then often shipped to another location for installation into their final product, such as electric vehicles.
In 2020, Lithium Americas joined a coalition of 30 companies to launch the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), an organization dedicated to achieving 100% electric vehicle sales in the US by 2030. ZETA’s objective is to secure American global EV manufacturing leadership, dramatically improve public health and significantly reduce carbon pollution.