Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 12, 2024

Australians Rush to Mine Lithium in Hualapai's Sacred Place, and a Navajo Enterprise Plans to Lead the Desecration



Australians Rush to Mine Lithium in Hualapai's Sacred Place, and a Navajo Enterprise Plans to Lead the Desecration

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, April 11, 2024

Translated into French by Christine Prat

SYDNEY, Australia -- While sipping wine at the Sydney Opera House, investors hear how much money they can make mining lithium in Arizona. The enthusiastic project manager is excited to tell them that Arizona loves mining, as can be seen with all its copper mines.

"They are a mining friendly state," says Paul Lloyd, managing director at Arizona Lithium, based in Perth, Australia. "They are very pro-lithium production."

On the other side of the world, Hualapai are offering prayers at their sacred spring, Ha’Kamwe’ their sacred place for healing and rites of passage, including childbirth and coming-of-age ceremonies for young women. It has been their ceremonial place since time immemorial.

Not far away, in Farmington, New Mexico -- a bordertown with a long history of crimes against Native Americans -- a new epicenter of fake green energy projects emerges.

The tribally-owned Navajo Transitional Energy Company is ready to rush in, get the drilling permits, drill, develop the mine, and poison the water, just a stone's throw from Hualapai's sacred hot spring.

Vern Lund, the CEO, of the so-called "transitional energy company" signed a formal agreement with Australia's Arizona Lithium in March, which includes joining its board. Lund is already on the board of another mining company in Texas.

The fact is, the Navajo enterprise owns four coal mines, among the most polluting industries in the world. It's a fact that the new green energy company seldom mentions, and is polluting the Rocky Mountain region. It owns both the Antelope coal mine and Cordero Rojo coal mine in Wyoming, the Spring Creek coal mine in Montana, and the Navajo Mine on the Navajo Nation.

Back in Sydney, Australia, where investors are sipping their cocktails, Arizona Lithium has more good news for Australian money makers. Arizona Lithium is also ready to mine lithium in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their Prairie Lithium is along the northern border of the United States, where Canada borders North Dakota and Montana.

At the Sydney Opera House, Lloyd assures investors there's plenty of money to be made, because oil and gas revenues are declining in Saskatchewan.

There's a lithium boom in North American, and that means big money for Australians, according to Lloyd who doesn't mention that his company -- which recently changed its name from Hawthorne to Arizona Lithium -- is in the red, and currently, is not making a profit.

"There's just a massive shortage in supply, I've never seen anything like it in my career," Lloyd tells investors in his enthusiastic pitch for lithium mining.

And besides, Lloyd adds, there's the push from Elon Musk for the type of mining planned for Big Sandy in Arizona, sedimentary lithium mining. Lloyd says with the  nationwide push for lithium mining, the lithium mining at Thacker Pass in Nevada is now rolling in funding, with GM promising to invest $650 million in Canada's Lithium Americas. 

The New Fake Green Industry

This new fake green focuses on lithium batteries for electric vehicles, ignoring the real costs of the new green scheme -- from the deaths of children mining for cobalt in Africa, to exploding batteries, to the high cost of transportation and imports for the electric vehicle industry.

Lloyd doesn't mention that Lithium Americas of Canada is digging into a Paiute Massacre Site, and Canada's Lithium Americas is now suing Paiute and Western Shoshone in federal court for defending their sacred place, where their ancestors remain. Lloyd doesn't mention that Lithium Americas is violating all federal laws protecting Native American religious and sacred places at Peehee Mu'huh, Thacker Pass.

Lloyd doesn't mention the required consultation with Native American tribes, or the required environmental impact statement, because, as everyone knows now, Interior Sec. Deb Haaland, and her BLM, have found ways to fake the consultation, ignore the tribe's concerns, and suddenly approve environmental impact statements.

This is what happened in the Grand Canyon. Havasuapi recently told the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that there was no consultation with tribes by state and federal agencies and their concerns were ignored.

Now, Havasupai's water is threatened by the uranium mining by Pinyon Plain uranium mining that began mining uranium in the Grand Canyon in December. 

Biden's Interior Department, Bureau of Land Management, and foreign mining corporations have little to worry about -- because they know that federal judges are on their team. Federal judges are violating all federal laws protecting Native American sacred sites, endangered species, and the water for mining.

And for Lloyd, there's no worries about the cost to the defenders, the elderly, and tribes, who are forced to wage expensive legal battles in federal courts to protect their sacred places at Peehee Mu'huh in Nevada, Oak Flat in Arizona, and now, at another of Haaland's fake green projects in southern Arizona, located in the copper mining country that Lloyd glorifies.

Tohono O'odham and San Carlos Apache Nations filed for a restraining order against Interior Sec. Deb Haaland in Tucson federal court in March to stop her bulldozers from tearing through historical and cultural places, for transmission lines for SunZia's wind energy project.

Haaland and her circle of defendants said their bulldozers haven't destroyed anything significant there, in the ancestral homeland of San Xavier O'odham, and their ancestors, the Hohokam. In the San Pedro Valley, San Carlos Apache gather their medicines and offer their prayers in southern Arizona.

Nearby, San Carlos Apache continue to defend sacred Oak Flat, and wage another expensive legal battle against a proposed copper mine in federal court. They are battling Rio Tinto Mining of Australia, which blew up 46,000 years of Australian Aboriginal history and culture in Juukan Gorge cave.

Rio Tinto also admitted to the widespread abuse of women at its mining operations. The largest number of sexual assaults were at its mines in Australia and South Africa, Rio Tinto said.

Rio Tinto's devastation of Aboriginal history, and widespread sexual assaults at its mines around the world, have not deterred the Biden administration from joining Rio Tinto in the federal lawsuit against Apache Stronghold, now in federal court. The planned copper mine at Apache's ceremonial place of Oak Flat would also destroy an ancient O'odham village nearby with a mining waste dump.

At the Sydney Opera House, Lloyd is focused on those big dollars.

"We are in the right place at the right time," Lloyd says, assuring Australian investors of the big money to be made mining lithium in North America.

Ivan Bender, Hualapai caretaker of the sacred spring, said the water level has dropped since the Australian company began drilling test holes for lithium here.

Australia's Arizona Lithium, with the help of the Navajo enterprise, plans to drill on three sides of the spring, which would destroy cultural sites and block access to the oasis for desert wildlife.

This land of desert tobacco, cane reed, bear grass, cacti, and edible grass seeds, has been a sacred ceremonial place, and gathering place, since time immemorial for Hualapai.

Hualapai, with about 2,300 tribal members, are one of the smaller tribes in the United States, and the onslaught by an enterprise of one of the largest tribes in the U.S., the Navajo Nation, can only be viewed as bullying and exploitation, combined with the fact that the Navajo Nation enterprise plans to violate federal laws protecting Native American religious and cultural sites, the environment and the water.

"We're not going to have electric cars here," said a Hualapai woman.

“This spring is a place for healing and medicine and other things that they have here. Our people are buried all through here. There’s a grave just on the other side of this hill right here," said Hualapai's director of Natural Resources, Richard Powskey, walking here.

Hualapai Ivan Bender, caretaker of the sacred spring, said, “To me, it holds a really, really sacred valley of life."

Read more:

Mining agreement signed in March of 2024, between Navajo enterprise and Australia's Arizona Lithium

Arizona Lithium Managing Director Paul Lloyd, said the agreement with the wholly onwed Navajo Nation enterprise is complete and was signed in March of 2024.

NTEC will take over the operational development of Big Sandy being responsible for managing the permitting requirements, exploration drilling, mine design, environmental assessments, and development through to commencement of mining operations for the project.

Raytheon Dine' Facility: Missile Parts for Genocide

On the Navajo Nation, south of Farmington, the Raytheon Dine' Facility produces missile parts for Raytheon Missiles, a leading war profiteer manufacturing missiles for the war crimes and genocide in Palestine. The majority of the victims are babies, children and women.

The Navajo Nation's missile factory is one of the most censored facts in Indian country, censored by Indian Country Today in 2006. The Raytheon Dine' Facility is located on the Navajo Nation's commercial farm, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry.

Gamyu Hualapai Newsletter

Investor lunch at Sydney Opera House

Supai, Dine', Lakota, Ute and Arapaho testify before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, by Censored News

Congressman Raul Grijalva: Thacker Pass lithium mine approval ignored Paiute Massacre Site

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva said the BLM’s record of decision greenlighting the lithium mine at Thacker Pass did not mention the 1865 massacre by the U.S. Calvary. That omission violates the National Historic Preservation Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and National Environmental Protection Act.

Interior Sec. Haaland announces atomic bomb industry to lead 'green transition' in Four Corners

Article copyright Censored News

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