The first was an application for a North Carolina State Mining Permit with the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources.
The second, a day later on August 31, was an application to the US Department of Energy’s Loans program Office for loan funding.
If granted, the funding will come via the department’s Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program (VTAM), which has $17.7 billion in direct loan authority to be distributed to companies engaged in manufacturing fuel-efficient, advanced technology vehicles and qualifying components supporting the automotive supply chain.
Piedmont fits nicely into this mix through the development of its world-class multi-asset, integrated lithium business that is focused on facilitating the transition to a clean energy North American economy.
Applications to help advance project
The two applications would enable Piedmont to put all project approvals in place, whilst also providing vital funding to help the company move the project forward in its aims to help with the transition to a net-zero world.
“Submitting our mine permit application with the State of North Carolina is an important and necessary step in advancing our Carolina Lithium Project in Gaston County, North Carolina,” said president and CEO Keith Phillips.
“We have been extremely rigorous in planning our operations, with an intense focus on safety, sustainability and environmental protections within the communities where we plan to operate.
“We welcome the review by the State and look forward to their response. And as we consider a variety of funding sources for our Carolina Lithium Project, we’re excited about the possibility of participating in the ATVM Loan Program.
"This program was specifically designed to assist companies like ours that are working to help build a domestic source of components and materials to support the electric vehicle supply chain in the US.”
Piedmont has been in the news several times this week, as it looks to consolidate its lithium business.
The company completed the acquisition of North American Lithium Inc (NAL), consolidating its lithium businesses in Québec, Canada and potentially creating a lithium production hub in the Abitibi region incorporating the former NAL lithium facilities.
Piedmont also increased its stake in IronRidge Resources that will see it fast track development at the Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana.
Ewoyaa has a mineral resource estimate of 14 million tonnes at 1.31% Li2O and is in proximity to Ghanaian ports with access to North American ports.
Piedmont has signed a SC6 (spodumene concentrate) supply agreement, which gives it the right to purchase 50% of production from Ewoyaa at market price for the life of the mine.