Responsible Mining


Albemarle is evaluating the redevelopment of the Kings Mountain Mine, one of the few known hard rock lithium deposits in the U.S. As part of our commitment to responsible mining, Albemarle intends to develop the mine in line with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining.

Key Points:

  • Albemarle is a leader in responsible mining practices, and we intend to redevelop the Kings Mountain Mine in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
  • The Kings Mountain Mine plans to align with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) standards, the most comprehensive set of globally recognized standards for responsible mining.
  • Albemarle expects to seek community input throughout the mine life, including completing a voluntary Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to better understand and develop environmental and social management plans that are designed to minimize adverse impacts and enhance benefits from the mine.

Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance

As part of our commitment to responsible mining, Albemarle is developing the mine in line with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining. This standard is a comprehensive and rigorous set of expectations that independent auditors can use to benchmark mining practices that reduce adverse environmental and social impacts that may stem from this mine redevelopment. As we plan to redevelop the Kings Mountain Mine, we intend to align with the IRMA Standard.


Leveraging Land and Material Use for a More Sustainable World

As Albemarle pursues its mission of building a more resilient world with people and planet in mind, we must consider every element and resource and potential beneficial partnerships at all our global sites.

We are leveraging three former and current mine sites — the Kings Mountain Mine site, a former mica mine, and an adjacent quarry — to support resuming mining operations at Kings Mountain in a manner that minimizes the additional land disturbance and derives maximum beneficial use of mined materials such as non-ore-bearing rock and mine tailings.

Some tailings also have commercial value. Approximately three million metric tons of tailings have sat at the Kings Mountain Mine since it ceased operations in the late 1990s, however, the Albemarle team has commenced commercial sale of these legacy tailings. Read more below about how we are developing partnerships to reuse mined materials and looking at solutions for next-generation battery technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Beneficial Use of Material

Albemarle and Martin Marietta, which operates a quarry adjacent to the Kings Mountain site, have formed a strategic relationship for the beneficial resuse of limestone material that is extracted from the Kings Mountain Mine.

Mined rock that could be used as construction aggregate material is planned to be transported from the Kings Mountain Mine to the adjacent Martin Marietta site. Martin Marietta intends to process the material at their current facility and sell the material to the construction aggregate market.

  • This beneficial use of the aggregate can reduce Albemarle and Martin Marietta’s operational footprints and the adjacency of the Martin Marietta quarry allows for material to be transferred without using public roadways.
  • The agreement also calls for a royalty fee for each ton of aggregate sold by Martin Marietta to be paid to Albemarle which plans to transfer the royalty to a non-profit entity that focuses on funding initiatives to strengthen and support Kings Mountain and the surrounding communities.

Supporting a Circular Battery Value Chain with Caterpillar

In 2023, Albemarle signed agreements with Caterpillar Inc. to collaborate on solutions to support the full circular battery value chain and sustainable mining operations. These efforts include the utilization of next-generation, battery-powered mining equipment that can support Albemarle’s efforts to establish Kings Mountain as the first-ever net zero greenhouse gas emissions lithium mine site in North America.