A federal judge says she could have a decision on the future of the proposed Thacker Pass lithium mine near the Oregon-Nevada border in a couple of months.
The mine is fully permitted and approved, but opponents claim the process was sped up during the Trump administration and rushed through without proper environmental assessments. It is being challenged in court by environmentalists, ranchers and tribes.
Judge Miranda Nu heard the case in Reno Thursday. She could stop the project, approve it or ask developers to make significant changes.
Exploratory lithium drilling is also underway to the north across the Oregon border outside of McDermitt, in what geologists say that could be the biggest lithium deposit in North America.