We remain committed to engaging with key stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of our projects to better understand and address their interests and concerns, and to advance our shared priorities. We continue to collaboratively work with the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe (the "Tribe") and communities closest to Thacker Pass towards mutually beneficial relationships.
Thacker Pass was designed reflecting information collected during numerous stakeholder meetings, including public open houses and ongoing engagement. This approach is expected to mitigate potential concerns at the design level, and ensures the local community is included early in the development process.
We began early engagement with the Tribe, who are located approximately 40 miles away and the largest Native American community within the vicinity of Thacker Pass. We have formed long-term relationships with Tribal members and have encouraged members to consider future employment at Thacker Pass. In October 2022, Lithium Americas and the Tribe entered a Community Benefits Agreement to establish a framework for continued collaboration and to define the long-term benefits for the Tribe.
In 2019, a Cultural Technical Report was completed, providing a cultural-resource inventory covering approximately 13,000 acres of land in the vicinity of Thacker Pass and lays the foundation for cultural-mitigation work. In late 2021 and early 2022, we arranged for specialized cultural monitor training for Tribe members. Pursuant to an Archaeological Resources Protection Act Permit issued by the Bureau of Land Management, the cultural work was completed between April to July 2022. Eleven Tribe members were hired to work in collaboration with Far Western Anthropological Research Group to ensure strict standards were followed, and Native American interests were respected during the archeological mitigation work. The cultural work found no areas of archeological significance at the Project.
We actively participate in the locally based Negotiating Work Group along with select members of the local Thacker Pass Concerned Citizens Group (TPCCG), dedicated to developing agreements - supported by scientific data and community views - to guide the construction and operation of Thacker Pass, with a focus on identifying solutions that protect the safety and wellbeing of community members.
We are committed to employing locally and working with local service providers to the greatest extent possible. We pay wages competitive to other Nevada-based mines, in order to attract and retain quality employees, and provide high standards of living. We have surveyed the qualifications of community members to better understand the current labour available.
We have partnered with Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority, Great Basin College, JOIN Inc., Cashman Equipment Winnemucca and Nevada Builders Alliance to leverage local resources and build capacity in the regional workforce.
Looking ahead as we start construction, our focus will be around additional job-ready training and employment opportunities, and support for cultural education and preservation. Furthermore, we have agreed to build a community center for the Tribe that includes a daycare, preschool, playground, cultural facility and communal greenhouse to support reclamation efforts and provide income for the Tribe.