Kollibri Terre Sonnenblume interviews Kevin Emmerich from Basin & Range Watch about lithium mining, including the planned mine at Thacker Pass. This is an informative interview about how lithium mining works, and the impacts of lithium mining. From Kollibri Terre Sonnenblume, at Radio Free Sunroot:
The ugly truth behind the in-demand element
Lithium mining is back in the news these days, with activists occupying the site of a proposed mine in northern Nevada. (See episode 53 for my interview with Will Falk, one of the occupiers.) So I contacted Kevin Emmerich of Basin & Range Watch, to get more details about how lithium mining works, and what its ecological effects are. Basin & Range Watch is a desert defense group based in southern Nevada. They track industrial energy developments on public lands in the US southwest, and I consider them to be the premier online resource for learning about and keeping up-to-date with these projects, which include solar and wind.
Kevin & I spoke on January 30th, and we discussed the proposed lithium mine at Thacker Pass; other projects at Clayton Valley and Rhyolite Ridge; the massive use of water in mining operations; the unique ecology of these sites in the desert and the Great Basin; the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and how it was assaulted by the Trump administration; the prospects for exploitation and conservation of the desert under the Biden administration; the false choice of fossil fuels vs. “green” energy; and the importance of efficiency in reducing overall energy use and pollution.