Issued by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s DEMLR following a comprehensive review, the permit is subject to conditions both customary and specific to the project

Carolina lithium

Piedmont Lithium gets mining approval for the Carolina lithium project in the US. (Credit: ivabalk from Pixabay)

Piedmont Lithium has received mining permit approval for the construction, operation, and reclamation of the proposed Carolina lithium project in North Carolina, US.

The permit has been issued by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ)’s Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) after a thorough review. It is subject to customary conditions as well as those tailored to the project’s specifics.

The application for the mining permit was submitted by Piedmont Lithium on 30 August 2021.

Located in Gaston County, the Carolina project is to become a fully-integrated lithium project, encompassing mining, spodumene concentrate production, and lithium hydroxide conversion, all within a single site.

Currently, the American lithium project is in the development stage.

The Carolina lithium project is being designed to have an annual output of 30,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide.

According to Piedmont Lithium, the projected capacity would more than double the present US production capacity of about 20,000 metric tons annually.

Besides, the Carolina lithium project is expected to greatly contribute to the energy security of the US.

The construction of the American lithium project is expected to begin after obtaining the remaining necessary permits, rezoning approvals as well as project financing activities.

Piedmont Lithium president and CEO Keith Phillips said: “The North Carolina mining permit approval is the precursor for the county rezoning process, and we look forward to continued engagement with the local community and the Gaston County Board of Commissioners.

“Construction would commence following receipt of all required permits, rezoning approvals, and project financing activities.

“We have had extensive and ongoing dialogue with possible funding sources for Carolina Lithium, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office and strategic parties who could provide some combination of capital, offtake, and technical support.”

In February 2024, Piedmont Lithium completed a 27% reduction in its workforce as part of the company’s cost-cutting measures amid a decline in lithium prices.