Piedmont Lithium Inc (ASX:PLL, NASDAQ:PLL, XETRA:) has plans to submit its Carolina Lithium Project mine permit application to the North Carolina Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources (DEMLR) in August, with a permit review to follow through a structured process.
In a recent corporate update, the company highlighted the various permits required to begin the construction of the Carolina Project which are currently advancing.
To date, three permits have been obtained while the following will be required before construction can begin:
- NC State Mining Permit issued by NDEQ’s Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources (DEMLR);
- Application for a new air permit due to the relocation of Piedmont Lithium’s planned lithium hydroxide manufacturing plant to Gaston Country and the switch to the Metso Outotec process; and
- A conditional district rezoning approval from Gaston Country approved by the Gaston County board of commissioners.
The definitive feasibility study (DFS) is on track for completion in the second half of 2021 while the beginning of construction is anticipated for Q2, 2022 – subject to market conditions, project financing, and the conclusion of the permitting and approvals process.
Positioned to become leading producer
PLL president and chief executive officer Keith D. Philips said: “Piedmont is positioned to become a leading producer of lithium hydroxide while positively impacting the communities in which we operate by creating jobs, attracting other EV supply chain participants, increasing the tax base and broadly supporting other local small businesses.
“Through direct investment and contracted offtake, we control a significant quantity of potential spodumene concentrate production in three critical locations.
“We believe spodumene is the preferred feedstock for the EV supply chain and that ‘owning the resource’ is the key to value creation in the lithium industry.”
Canada – Sayona Quebec and North American Lithium
On June 30, the Superior Court of Quebec granted an approval and vesting order regarding the company’s joint bid with Sayona for the acquisition of North American Lithium (NAL), paving the way for Sayona Quebec to acquire all the shares and assets of NAL.
The transaction is expected to close in August.
NAL owns La Corne, a permitted brownfield spodumene project, 20 miles from Sayona’s core Authier Project.
The combination of Authier and La Corne is set to create one of Canada’s largest lithium projects, all strategically located near the mining center of Val-d’Or in the Abitibi region of Quebec, with good proximity to rail and highway transportation networks.
Philips said: “We are developing plans for what could be a world-class Quebec-based lithium hydroxide business to complement our Carolina Lithium strategy.”
Ghana – IronRidge Resources
On July 1, Piedmont Lithium announced a strategic partnership with IronRidge Resources (IRR) through the purchase of an equity stake in IRR, staged project investments to earn a 50% interest in IRR’s Ghana-based lithium portfolio and a binding supply agreement to purchase 50% of IRR Ghana’s planned SC6 production.
IRR Ghana has an impressive portfolio of spodumene prospects, anchored by the highly promising Ewoyaa Project, which boasts a mineral resource of 14.5 million tonnes at 1.31% lithium oxide.
Piedmont Lithium hopes to complete a definitive feasibility study for Ewoyaa by mid-2023 and to be producing spodumene concentrate by 2025.
The company believes its Ewoyaa offtake rights can underpin significant growth in its lithium hydroxide position and is currently evaluating possible conversion sites in North America.
Philips said: “We believe Ewoyaa is an exceptional project with great upside.
“We believe it is Africa’s best-located lithium project and we look forward to working with our partners at IRR to update the mineral resources and economics at Ewoyaa and incorporate those into our future lithium hydroxide conversion plans in North America.”