WHAT IS ALBEMARLE PROPOSING TO DO AT KINGS MOUNTAIN?
We are committed to conducting business the right way which means encouraging dialogue among all stakeholders and including all voices and views in the process.
We are considering a potential restart of production from the Kings Mountain spodumene mineral resource. We currently are working to collect the detailed environmental baseline data across the site to support environmental impact assessments for the permitting process.
We are starting a prefeasibility study to collect geological information for the engineering assessment and to evaluate resource development opportunities. The study will also include an evaluation of environmental, biological, and social impacts required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). This work is expected to take several years.
Once complete, if we decide to proceed, key permit applications will be submitted as required to federal, state, and county agencies. Permit timelines of mining projects vary widely depending on a variety of factors. Depending on the permitting timeline, we estimate that initial construction could start in late 2025 with potential production in 2027 (or by end of the decade), again if we decide to proceed with the project.
Lithium is one of the world’s most important minerals. It helps power our lives as a building block for modern battery technology enabling electrification, clean energy and sustainable transportation, including electric vehicles.
In 2021, global EV production nearly doubled to more than 6 million vehicles from 3 million in 2020. By the end of the decade, EVs are expected to account for close to 40% of automotive sales. Some automakers have announced they will only produce EVs beginning in the middle of the next decade. Beyond 2025, we anticipate continued growth to double with lithium demand of more than 3 million metric tons by 2030. So we are investing in our current resources to meet what is expected to be the surging demand ahead. But we want to carry out our potential mine project in the right way, and we believe it is important for you to be an integral part of our sustainability journey. That’s why we are engaging with the community as early as possible.
SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT NOISE, AIR, WATER POLLUTION DURING THIS WORK?
The environmental impacts of the project will be thoroughly assessed during both the prefeasibility assessments and permitting processes. The prefeasibility assessment is expected to include evaluation of multiple development options and each of their potential environmental impacts. Albemarle only intends to pursue a development option that provides the least environmentally damaging, but practicable, alternative as required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process.
WHY KINGS MOUNTAIN?
Kings Mountain has a world-class resource and could play a critical role in establishing U.S. leadership in the electric vehicle evolution. As global demand for EVs grows in North America, our customers are seeking greater security from geopolitical risk, as well as greater sustainability, including reduced carbon emissions, in their supply chains. Building out the U.S. supply chain, including possibly Kings Mountain, is one way tohelp our customers and our country be more successful.
HOW DO YOU INTEND TO INFORM AND INVOLVE THE COMMUNITY IN THIS WORK?
You can expect to see regular updates online (via a dedicated project website) and via regular community town halls, as well as a local office and dedicated community liaison, so you are informed about our prospective plans. We look forward to community feedback and dialogue and appreciate your support to make our growth plan here a reality.