OWindy afternoon in the north NevadaWhere her family lived for generations, Daranda Hinky stood in front of one of the world’s largest lithium deposits: “too much lithium and people bubbling in their mouths.” I did.
The area is known as Peehee Mu’huh (or Thacker Pass) and can be a lucrative resource for companies wanting to take advantage of the electric vehicle revolution (lithium can be used to power rechargeable batteries). Although sexual, Hinkey and her companions say they are large-massive mining operations can irreparably damage one of the most sacred places in her community.
“It’s like putting a lithium mine in Arlington National Cemetery. It’s not fair,” she said.
In 1865, a massacre took place at the Soccer Pass, killing at least 31 members of the Paiute tribe. Hinky’s great-grandfather, Oxsum, was one of three survivors.
In addition to its historical importance, the Soccer Pass also plays an important role in the daily lives of the local indigenous community. It is the area where they harvest traditional food, medicine, and supplies for sacred rituals.
Today, to protect this site, Hinky and dozens of other local tribal members and descendants are camping near the proposed lithium mine as a form of protest against mining in the area. .. Some members of her coalition have gone as far as quitting their jobs to spend more time in the field. The number of campers changes daily, but Hinky said he plans to stay until the mine shuts down.
While she and her associates are also exploring legal options, the group is in areas where the transition from fossil fuels is considered to be very important, and their protests can make a difference in Nevada. I’m not sure if I can do it or what will happen next. But they haven’t given up.
“I still think people think we are somehow’barbarians’. We still use the land and cherish it. They see it as weak, but we see it as strength. “
NSThe global lithium-ion battery market Be expected According to the Ministry of Energy, it is expected to grow five to ten times over the next decade, partly due to the surge in demand for electric vehicles and their use in personal electronics and renewable energy storage. ..
However, Maximum lithium reserves In the world, the United States is not a major player in mineral extraction.Biden administration I was asked Investing in “safe, equitable and sustainable domestic mining ventures” as part of efforts to secure a larger share of the lithium battery supply chain.
Lithium Nevada, a company proposing a lithium mine, estimates that the project at Soccer Pass will produce approximately 60,000 metric tons. Once in operation, the annual production of lithium carbonate will increase, and the production of materials in the United States will increase about 10 times.
“This is a game changer,” says Tim Crawley, Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Relations in Lithium, Nevada. “It is absolutely essential to make America competitive and to minimize the geopolitical challenges we face when relying on other sources. [of lithium].. “
Hinky, a graduate of Southern Oregon University’s Environmental Sciences, Policy and Sustainability Program, says he understands the need to move away from fossil fuels. But she wonders if lithium mining is the best way to get there.
“Many environmentalists will argue that we need that lithium. We need that electric car. But I don’t think they think about all the consequences. [mining]”Hinky says. “Which indigenous homes, which indigenous lands do they take from?”
According to an investor analyst company MSCI, 79% of US lithium reserves are within 35 miles of the Native American settlement.
Payal Sampat, mining director of the environmental group Earthworks, often states that indigenous communities are “already driven out of their hometown under the influence of genocide.” These groups “have to pay the price of a transition to a low-carbon economy-perhaps they can’t even benefit from that same community-are completely unacceptable,” he added.
Recently, opponents of the project also turned to court.During the summer, several indigenous groups participated, including the people of Red Mountain, a group that camps outside the proposed mine. Existing suit Brought by environmentalists and local ranchers to prevent the mine from advancing.The decision is not yet made On hold..
However, activists are also facing legal setbacks. November, Federal Judge Domination Evidence provided by indigenous groups regarding the historical importance of football passes “does not clearly prove that a genocide has occurred within the project area.”
In response to indigenous peoples’ concerns, Crawley said the company “is making great efforts to ensure that the environment is protected and that we are responsible.” “We also make every effort to ensure that historic relics are preserved and properly processed.”
Opponents of the mine are keenly aware that the legal system may ultimately oppose them. They are considering direct-action tactics such as those used by Dakota Access Pipeline protesters at Standing Rock.
“It’s really easy to think that you can win these things, just say the right thing, just claim the right thing, and have the best lawyer, and this will be gone.” Wilfork, a lawyer for the Red Mountains and one of the first campers of the football pass.
“It’s wishful thinking,” he said. “Ultimately, you need to be ready to physically block construction equipment. I think it’s one way to awaken Americans. [is seeing] People dragged out by the police to try to protect their land. And I think this is where this is going. “
“Let’s put a lithium mine in Arlington National Cemetery”: Battle to Save the Sanctuary of Nevada | Mining
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