By SCOTT SONNER Associated Press November 12, 2021 – 9:25 am
RENO — A federal judge has ruled that additional historical accounts two Native American tribes submitted to prove their claim that a lithium mine is on sacred lands where their ancestors were massacred in 1865 still falls short of evidence necessary to temporarily block any digging.
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du refused the request by the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and the Oregon-based Burns Paiute Tribe to reconsider her Sept. 6 ruling denying their bid to halt completion of an archaeological survey required before construction of the mine can begin near the Nevada-Oregon line.
“While the court agrees (the) additional evidence further highlights the shameful history of the treatment of Native Americans by federal and state governments, it does not persuade the court that it should reconsider,” Du wrote in her ruling issued on Monday.
She said the newly discovered evidence is “too speculative” to warrant a temporary injunction blocking collection of cultural artifacts.
Lithium Nevada Corp.’s construction is scheduled to begin early next year at Thacker Pass, about 230 miles northeast of Reno.