Rosen, Cortez Masto Tout Department of Energy’s $2.26 Billion Investment to Support New Lithium Processing Plant, Create Clean Energy Jobs

WASHINGTON DC –Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) applauded the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement that it has approved a $2.26 billion conditional loan to help Lithium Nevada Corp., construct a lithium carbonate processing plant at Thacker Pass in Humboldt County. Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act which greatly expanded the DOE’s lending authority. Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto have been advocates for strong labor and environmental protections, and they will continue to push for them as part of this project as it moves forward.

Once fully operational, this facility will have the capacity to produce over 40,000 metric tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate per year to use in lithium-ion batteries that are playing a crucial role in the country’s growing clean-energy economy. The project is expected to create over 1,800 jobs during construction and 360 jobs in operations.

“Nevada is a leader in lithium and critical minerals with the potential to power our nation’s transition to clean, renewable energy,” said Senator Rosen. “That’s why it’s critical to invest in our lithium supply chain, and make sure it’s done in a responsible and environmentally-sustainable way. This loan will help create good-paying jobs while getting us closer to meeting our climate goals, and I’ll continue working to ensure robust labor and environmental protections are in place every step of the way.”

“In order to meet our climate goals, we need to responsibly mine and process critical minerals right here in Nevada. This conditional loan is an important step for a project that will create hundreds of good-paying jobs, strengthen our supply chain, and keep Nevada at the forefront of lithium-ion battery manufacturing,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ll continue to call for investments across the state that uplift skilled labor, follow strict environmental standards, and drive our booming clean-energy economy.”

The Thacker Pass project’s engineering, procurement, and construction management contractor entered into a National Construction Agreement (Project Labor Agreement) with North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) for construction of the project. Using union labor will minimize construction risk, ensure the availability of skilled labor, and prioritize the employment of local workers. Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto will continue to push for robust labor protections for the project. Lithium Americas Corp. also has entered into a binding Community Benefits Agreement with the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe which will support infrastructure improvements at Fort McDermitt, additional job training and employment opportunities for Tribal members, and cultural education and preservation. This conditional loan is subject to the finalization of the project’s environmental review and other regulatory requirements.

Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which included Senator Cortez Masto’s bipartisan legislation to promote Nevada’s mining and emerging battery industries and to create the battery manufacturing and recycling program that is funding numerous projects in Nevada. Both Rosen and Cortez Masto have supported and recently announced multiple national designations for the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) including as a U.S. Regional Tech and Innovation Hub and a National Science Foundation Regional Innovation Ecosystem Engine for innovation and job creation in the lithium-ion battery industry. Both of these opportunities will allow UNR to apply for significant federal resources to drive workforce training, business development, and technological research. Senator Rosen recently convened a meeting between Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and UNR President Brian Sandoval to push for Phase II funding for the Lithium Loop Tech Hub.