The court turned down the appeal to vacate the ROD issued by the BLM for the mining plan of operations


Lithium Americas secures a positive ruling from a US federal court on Thacker Pass project. (Credit: Martina Janochová from Pixabay)

Lithium Americas has secured a positive ruling from the US District Court, District of Nevada regarding its fully-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada.

The Canadian mining company prevailed in a lawsuit challenging the decision of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in issuing the record of decision (ROD) for the project.

The court turned down the appeal to vacate the ROD for the mining plan of operations.

Lithium Americas said that the positive ruling confirms that the permitting process for the Thacker Pass project was carried out properly and responsibly, and there will be no obstacles to starting construction.

However, the BLM has been ordered by the court to take into account one issue under the mining law regarding the area allotted for waste storage and tailings. The federal court has not imposed any restrictions that could delay the construction, said Lithium Americas.

Besides, the US court has rejected arguments that the lithium project will harm the local sage grouse population and habitat, groundwater aquifers, and air quality.

Lithium Americas president and CEO Jonathan Evans said: “We are pleased that the Federal Court has recognised the BLM’s decision to issue the Federal Permit, reflecting our considerable efforts to ensure Thacker Pass is developed responsibly and for the benefit of all stakeholders,

“The favourable ruling leaves in place the final regulatory approval needed in moving Thacker Pass into construction.”

Last week, General Motors (GM) announced an investment of $650m in the Candian mining company to help the latter develop the Thacker Pass project. The equity investment will be received in two tranches.

An offtake agreement has also been inked by the parties for 10 years from the start of phase 1 production, with GM having the option to extend it by an additional five years.