Lithium Reserves Pit Climate Resilience Against Indigenous Calls To Protect Land
Lithium reserves discovered in 2020 have recently renewed excitement over the United States’ ability to be self-sufficient when it comes to mining lithium, according to reporting from Insider and others. Newly-released findings suggest that the volume of lithium is among the most concentrated of known deposits, and could make the site a strategic goldmine for the United States from an environmental, economic, and national security standpoint. However, indigenous groups counter that the deposits are on land vital to indigenous use. “There’s burial sites there. There’s medicines and roots there, there’s ecosystems – there is still life back there,” Gary McKinney of the Shoshone-Paiute tribe told Al Jazeera. Construction has already started at the site to prepare it for mining — with federal courts dismissing activists and conservationists legal challenges to cease the project.
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