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Carolina lithium project, US – update

Image of lithium ore stockpile

Photo by Piedmont Lithium

19th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Carolina lithium project.

Location
The tin-spodumene belt (TSB), in Gaston County, North Carolina, in the US.

Project Owner/s
Piedmont Lithium.

Project Description
A bankable feasibility study (BFS) has confirmed that the project could be one of the world’s biggest and lowest-cost producers of lithium hydroxide, with a sustainability footprint that is superior to current producers.

The project has proven and probable reserves of 18.26-million tonnes grading 1.1% lithium oxide. Total mineral resources are estimated at 44.2-million tonnes grading 1.08% lithium oxide.

The BFS proposes steady-state lithium hydroxide production from the conversion plant at about 30 000 t/y over a 30-year operational life. Average steady-state mine production is estimated at 242 000 t/y of spodumene, 252 000 t/y of quartz, 392 000 t/y of feldspar and 28 000 t/y of mica over an 11-year mine life.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $2.04-billion and an internal rate of return of 27%, with a payback of 3.5 years from the start of operations.

Capital Expenditure
Initial capital costs are estimated at $988-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Piedmont Lithium has received a mining permit to build and operate its fully integrated Carolina project.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources approved the permit, following a two-and-a-half-year review period.

Permit approval is the precursor for the county rezoning process. Construction will start following receipt of all the required permits, rezoning approval and project financing activities.

Piedmont president and CEO Keith Phillips has said the company has had extensive dialogue with possible funding sources for the project, including the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office and strategic parties who could provide some combination of capital and offtake.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
BFS consultants: Primero Group Americas Inc (concentrate operations and overall BFS integration); Metso Outotec (lithium hydroxide manufacturing technology package and pilot testwork); SGS Canada Inc (concentrate and by-products metallurgical testwork); Marshall Miller and Associates (mine design and scheduling; estimation of ore reserves); McGarry Geoconsulting Corp (mineral resource estimation); HDR Engineering Inc (permitting, environment and social studies); Johnston, Allison, and Hord (land title and legal); Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (lithium products marketability; and John Walker (by-products marketability).

Contact Details for Project Information
Piedmont Lithium, tel +1 704 461 8000 or email info@piedmontlithium.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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