Piedmont Lithium speeds up plans
Piedmont Lithium has said that it is accelerating the development of its lithium chemical plant in the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt, near Charlotte, which is claimed to be tone of the world’s best lithium sources. The company is now targeting Q2 2020 for a chemical plant pre-feasibility study and Q4 for an integrated definitive feasibility study and chemical plant permitting.
According to CEO Keith Phillips, this came in response to positive feedback from prospective lithium hydroxide customers. Discussions clarified agreement on several key themes, notably the dramatic growth in lithium hydroxide required to support the electric vehicle platforms being developed, customers’ wishes to diversify their supply sources away from China and their plans to develop their battery supply chains in the US and Europe.
“Nobody is better positioned than Piedmont Lithium to capitalise on these developments,” said Phillips. “Ours is the only spodumene project in the US and it is the only US lithium project focused on the fast-growing hydroxide market. We are ideally located to serve the rapidly growing battery supply chains in both the United States and Europe.”
The accelerated plan will mean completing construction of the mine and concentrator at the same time as the lithium chemical plant. As a result, operations will be integrated from the outset and the higher margins associated with lithium chemicals achieved when the facility comes onstream at a time of anticipated shortages of lithium hydroxide in 2023, Piedmont said.