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Thacker Pass, Quinn River NV


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#1 teledork

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 11:34 PM

One of the last acts of the 45th president was to provide a "fast track" for desert mining operations. The Thacker Pass area (North of Winnemucca) is slated to be turned into a lithium mine. There will also be a processing facility to turn sulphur (which is removed during the refinement of gasoline) into sulphuric acid  in order to extract the lithium from the clay soil of the valley floor. The entire operation may eventually cover as much as 17,000 acres with the chemical processing plant, tailings piles and several open pit mines. The quantity of lithium that is present in the clay is so small that more trucks will be bringing in sulphur than bringing out lithium. 

 

I leave these links here as I think they do a better presentation than I can. 

 

https://www.protectthackerpass.org/

 

https://www.stoplithium.com/


Edited by teledork, 03 February 2021 - 11:38 PM.

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#2 Smokecreek1

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:41 AM

I even just donated to the fund.   Might even take a drive out that way when the weather heats up. #45 did this type of thing allot in the last few days and especially liked to rewrite the rules and bury true believers deep in the system! It will take time to find them all.

 

Smoke


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#3 teledork

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:51 AM

I even just donated to the fund.   Might even take a drive out that way when the weather heats up. #45 did this type of thing allot in the last few days and especially liked to rewrite the rules and bury true believers deep in the system! It will take time to find them all.

 

Smoke

I know the guys who have been camping out there for the past three weeks otherwise I probably would not have known what was happening - though I was aware that just about every valley in NV is being eyed for lithium production. I suspect I'll be headed that way soon to bring supplies and some reinforcement. 


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#4 SunMan

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 01:51 AM

https://www.forbes.c...sh=326bcb2362e2


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#5 Stray Dog

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 02:31 PM

interesting article Sunman.  Looks like lithium has a big future.  Guess it has to come from somewhere.  Maybe we can get it from China?


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#6 ski3pin

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 03:21 PM

Desert Fog has been documenting Lithium exploration -

 

Lithium Mining in the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts


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#7 teledork

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 04:01 PM

interesting article Sunman.  Looks like lithium has a big future.  Guess it has to come from somewhere.  Maybe we can get it from China?

If I may jump in here for a moment:
Top six lithium-producing countries in the world in 2019
  • Australia – 42,000 tonnes. Australia is by far the world's top producer of lithium, with an output of 42,000 tonnes in 2019. ...
  • Chile – 18,000 tonnes. ...
  • China – 7,500 tonnes. ...
  • Argentina – 6,400 tonnes. ...
  • Zimbabwe – 1,600 tonnes. ...
  • Portugal – 1,200 tonnes.

https://www.nsenergy...cing-countries/

 

 

All of the lithium mining that has been done up to now is old lake beds/salt flats or hard rock mining. Extracting lithium from salt flats requires astronomical amounts of water (brine) to float the lithium to the surface. Hard rock mining of lithium requires chemicals to separate the lithium from the ore. Chemical "spills", polluted water, square miles of dead everything are a typical result. Extracting lithium from clay, as the Thacker Pass mine would do, requires both astronomical amounts of water (which will then be toxic) and chemicals (sulphur) which will be trucked in and converted to sulphuric acid, the remaining material dumped on the site for eternity. 

 

https://www.wired.co...ironment-impact

 

The big rush to mine lithium is to provide batteries for so-called "green" electric cars. Mining and extraction of lithium requires fossil fuels (the Thacker Pass mine will use at least 10,000 gallons of diesel each day) The manufacturing of these cars require fossil fuel. The manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbines requires fossil fuel. The destruction of the land to place these solar facilities and wind "farms" also results in loss of the use of public land and death to plants and wildlife. There are also a number of rare earth minerals required for solar and wind, the mining of which requires fossil fuels and commonly produces dead land and dead people (often slave labor) Hydropower is likely to become back in vogue - also a user of fossil fuel to construct and resulting in dead rivers. 

 

Edit to add: my sister just reminded me that nuclear power is also back on the table.

 

If this is "green" it is a putrid shade - like the early stages of gangrene. In reality it is no less deadly to the land base, plants and wildlife and eventually suicidal for the human race than the widespread use of fossil fuel. 

This book is due to be released next month:

https://www.monkfish...ght-green-lies/

 

“This disturbing but very important book makes clear we must dig deeper than the normal solutions we are offered.”—Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Works

We need a different answer. 

Edited by teledork, 04 February 2021 - 04:55 PM.

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#8 teledork

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 04:21 PM

Desert Fog has been documenting Lithium exploration -

 

Lithium Mining in the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts

That is a superb resource! 


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#9 Kolockum

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 04:30 PM

I hate seeing any land destroyed especially beautiful places (I guess they are all beautiful) but if we as the US are going to use these precious resources then we need to be destroying our own land for them and living with the direct results. Not some other possibly nameless 3rd world country with no environmental protection or human rights laws that nobody can see so nobody thinks about it.

 

For those that care about the environment it is a hard decision to make and it goes beyond just a mine. Those interested in money... not so hard.

 

On a side note led acid batteries are 90% recyclable and the process is widely adopted. Lithium is still relatively new but hopefully we will get there soon. 


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#10 PaulT

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 05:05 PM

The hydro power in the PNW is not considered a renewable resource. Long ago in Oregon, we collectively killed the Trojan nuclear power generator.

 

There are wind power turbines being installed all over Oregon as wind is considered to be a renewable resource.  One should investigate the life of these wind turbines. How long does a wind generator last and how are the blades recycled?  What is the lifetime cost to birds and bats due to the presence of a wind turbine?  What are the downwind impacts due to the wind disturbance? What is the net impact on the rotation of the earth caused by each turbine multiplied by all the wind turbines already installed and to new ones planned to be installed?

 

How long will solar panels actually last at an economically viable energy production rate? How are the used panels to be recycled? What is the impact of installing solar panels on land?  Will loss of oxygen production become an issue? Installation on existing buildings  will be insufficient to produce the energy demanded. 

 

Mandating the termination of fossil fuel powered vehicles in favor of EV's should not be considered a net plus for environmental impact unless the generation/collection of the electricity required to power them is taken into account.

 

As there are environmental costs to every energy resource, before subsidizing any new "green"  energy source, ALL lifetime costs should be learned and compared to other sources. 

 

Paul


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