Lithium Americas Corp. received a favorable ruling from the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada on February 6, 2023, for the appeal filed against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the issuance of the Record of Decision (ROD) relating to the company’s Thacker Pass project located in Humboldt County, Nevada. The Federal Court has declined to vacate the ROD for the mining Plan of Operations.

The favorable ruling by the court confirms the permitting process for Thacker Pass was conducted thoroughly and responsibly and resulted in there being no impediment to commencing construction. The court ordered BLM to consider one issue under the mining law relating to the area designated for waste storage and tailings and did not impose any restrictions expected to impact the construction timeline.

“We are pleased that the Federal Court has recognized BLM’s decision to issue the permit, reflecting our considerable efforts to ensure Thacker Pass is developed responsibly and for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Jonathan Evans, president and CEO, Lithium Americas. “The favorable ruling leaves in place the final regulatory approval needed in moving Thacker Pass into construction.”

The court rejected arguments that the project will cause unnecessary and undue degradation to the local sage grouse population and habitat, groundwater aquifers and air quality; that BLM failed to adequately assess the project’s impacts on air quality, wildlife and groundwater; that BLM failed to adequately consider the project’s impacts to culturally or religiously significant areas; and that BLM acted unreasonably or in bad faith in identifying tribes for consultation before approving the project.

The remand issued by court to BLM is to determine whether the company possesses adequate mining-claim rights to the lands over the area in which the waste storage and tailings are expected to be located, based on an appellate decision that was issued after BLM issued its ROD for Thacker Pass. The company said it intends to work closely with the BLM to complete the required follow-up.