Changes in January could include lithium mining in Nevada

Business may be picking up in the mining and energy industries, particularly in Nevada, in spite of a clock ticking ever closer to January 20th.

The Department of the Interior currently oversees nearly 500 million acres of public land, while the Forest Service holds responsibility for 193 million acres. Both bureaucracies view the public land as an opportunity to ramp up not only domestic energy production but also mining activities.

A last-minute push

As the calendar draws ever closer to Inauguration Day, the outgoing presidential administration is pushing through approval of corporate projects over the opposition of environmental groups and tribal communities. The current occupants of the White House are taking the fast-track in approving the last wave of large-scale projects.

Investors backed the move to start up these initiatives that could continue following the presidential swearing-in ceremony. However, the new administration can still take action to change, slow, and end projects.

Northern Nevada is a beneficiary of the fast-track initiatives with the start of building a vast, open-pit lithium mine on 5,500 acres on top of a federally-owned, prehistoric volcano site. Vital for battery production, this type of mining is practically non-existent in the United States.

The new presidential administration will face significant difficulties in stopping the lithium mining project due to the pending approval of the final federal permit in early July prior to construction.

Other states may face obstacles in moving forward with long-awaited projects in Arizona, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. Those projects are at various stages of approval and could be canceled.