GM is committing $650 million to develop Nevada lithium mine embroiled in federal lawsuit

General Motors plans to invest $650 million in Canada-based Lithium Americas to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada, a project that has met with fierce opposition from conservation groups and tribes in the state.

Under the terms of the agreement, General Motors will make a joint investment with the lithium mining developer — what the company says is the largest investment by an automaker to produce battery feedstock — to fund the extraction of enough lithium carbonate to support the production of up to 1 million electric vehicles per year.

However, the investment is subject to various conditions, including resolution of the ongoing lawsuit it faces in federal courts from conservationists and regional tribes.

Several tribes who hold Thacker Pass sacred filed lawsuits in 2021 to block development of the mine, arguing that the government had failed to adequately address all tribes in the area who see spiritual and cultural value in the site to reach. The tribes are joining conservation groups and other plaintiffs in an attempt to block development.

The Paiute refer to Thacker Pass as “Peehee mu’huh” in honor of them, which translates to “lazy moon.” Ancestors who were massacred Erected by US Cavalry in 1865 in a moon-shaped area of ​​the pass.

A court decision on the lawsuit will be made in the ‘next few months‘ said the federal judge.

The ruling could include overturning the mine’s permit, maintaining it, or ordering federal regulators to correct errors through an additional review.

Lithium Americas’ attorneys argued that Project Thacker Pass had the potential to significantly increase domestic lithium supplies and that further delays would harm US interests.

Thacker Pass is the largest known lithium well in the United States and the third largest in the world.

General Motors President and CEO Mary Barra said the automaker has secured all of the battery material needed to build more than 1 million electric vehicles in North America by 2025, adding that future production is growing will come from local sources.

“Sourcing critical EV raw materials and components directly from suppliers in North America and Free Trade Agreement countries helps make our supply chain safer, helps us control cell costs and creates jobs,” said Barra said in a statement.

Jonathan Evans, President and CEO of Lithium Americas, called General Motors’ conditional investment “an important milestone in moving Thacker Pass toward production.” If the mine continues as planned, production at Thacker Pass is expected to begin in the second half of 2026, according to the developer.

“This relationship underscores our commitment to developing a sustainable domestic lithium supply chain for electric vehicles,” Evens said in a statement.

General Motors’ investments would be divided into two phases. In phase one, GM would purchase 15 million shares of Lithium Americas at $21.34 per share for a total investment of $320 million and a 9.999% interest. In phase two, GM would invest $330 million in Lithium Americas after certain conditions are met, including the lithium developer raising sufficient capital to fund development spending in support of Thacker Pass.