New report outlines how mining harms communities and the planet

Today, Protect Thacker Pass is announcing the release of a new comprehensive report, “How Mining Hurts Communities.”

The report focuses on the growth of mining and especially rapidly growing demand for lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, and other metals for use in “green technologies.” According to the report, at least 384 new mines for minerals such as graphite, lithium, nickel, and cobalt will need to be built in the next decade to meet projected 2035 demand for batteries.

“Mining may impact your community sooner than you think,” says lead author Elisabeth Robson. “We are on the brink of the biggest expansion of mining in history.”

The report includes information about:

  • Projected mining industry growth
  • How mining harms ecosystems
  • Eight mining and extraction case studies from around the world
  • The scale of mining globally
  • The relationship between indigenous communities and the mining industry
  • Links between extractive industries, violence against women, and other crimes
  • Analysis of mining law
  • The relationship between fossil fuel industries and mining

Mining has a long history in the western U.S., and especially in Nevada, known as the “Silver State” for the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States in 1859. Silver and gold were mined to enrich prospectors; copper, lead, and iron to supply the military; and of course oil and gas to fuel the modern economy.

Today, we are seeing a new “green rush” for so-called “critical minerals” to supply industry, including uranium for nuclear power; lithium, copper, nickel, and more for electric vehicle and grid storage batteries, iron and nickel for steel to make wind turbines; silver, cadmium, lead and more to make solar panels; and copper, iron, and nickel to make high voltage grid lines.

“Most people do not understand the impact that mines and the mining industry have on communities, in part because mining usually takes place in rural areas and has the most impact on poor and rural communities,” says Protect Thacker Pass co-founder Max Wilbert, who assisted with the report. “These harms include destruction of land culturally and historically important to communities; violence, especially to women and girls; and pollution that impacts both human and non-human communities who depend on the land, clean water, and clean air.”

Robson says the goal of this report is to educate and empower people to fight the mining industry, and to challenge the idea of “green growth.”

“We’ve put together this report to inform people concerned about mining’s impacts in their communities, around the state of Nevada, and throughout the country and the world,” she said. “We show how mining companies stifle dissent, how the law sides unjustly with corporations, how mining pollutes the land, air, and water, and how mining destroys the ecosystems we all depend on for life.”

You can download the report for:
1) Reading on a computer screen
2) Printing (we recommend printing double sided and stapling along the edge)

Contact us for more information here: https://www.protectthackerpass.org/contact-us/

For ideas for a future without mining and extraction, you can read our Solutions here: https://www.protectthackerpass.org/solutions/

To donate to Protect Thacker Pass and help us educate communities, or contribute to our legal defense fund, click here: https://www.protectthackerpass.org/donations-and-funding/

About Protect Thacker Pass

Protect Thacker Pass is a grassroots community organization that was originally established to oppose the Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada. It’s mission has since expanded to include opposing the Jindalee lithium mine proposed just north of Thacker Pass and to include advocating for nature over mining more broadly.