BLM extending scoping period for proposed lithium exploration near McDermitt, Nev.


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Vale District Office

Media Contact:

VALE, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is extending the public scoping period for a proposal to conduct expanded lithium exploration in the McDermitt Caldera. Formal scoping comments will now be accepted through close of business Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.

“Scoping is the public’s opportunity to help us identify issues or concerns for consideration in the review process mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act,” Malheur Field Manager Jonah Blustain said. “We have already received several very useful comments and look forward to receiving additional feedback.”

HiTech Minerals, Inc. has submitted a proposed plan of operations to conduct the McDermitt Exploration Project. The project is in southeast Oregon approximately 20 miles west of McDermitt, NV, on BLM-administered lands in Malheur County. Comments received during this 30-day public scoping period may be used to develop an environmental assessment that will evaluate the potential environmental consequences of the proposed plan.

The proposed plan currently encompasses a 7,200-acre project area and would authorize almost 100 acres of disturbances from 267 exploration drill sites, the construction of 30.2 miles of new access routes, and other temporary disturbances to store the necessary equipment for the exploration activities. Subsurface hydrological, geophysical, and geochemical data may be collected during the proposed drilling activities as well. Exploration drilling would occur annually between July 1 to November 30 for up to 5 years and concurrent reclamation of the disturbances would occur after each drill season.

The public will have another opportunity to review and provide comments on the environmental assessment prior to the proposed plan’s approval. If the proposed plan of operations for exploration is approved, the previously authorized Notice Level of Operations would be closed, and the associated reclamation obligations and financial guarantee requirements currently in place would be transferred to the approved plan.

Scoping comments can be submitted to or mailed to: Attn: McDermitt Exploration Project, c/o BLM Malheur Field Office, 100 Oregon St., Vale, OR 97918.

To view the proposed Plan of Operations and project documents, or submit comments through the project ePlanning site go to

For additional project information, please contact Larisa Bogardus at 541-523-1407 or

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.