North Carolina County Slaps Moratorium on Piedmont Lithium Mine
Reuters reported that a North Carolina county imposed a 60-day mining moratorium on, giving official’s time to rework local regulations before Piedmont Lithium Inc applies for a necessary zoning variance. Commissioners in Gaston County, west of Charlotte, unanimously approved a resolution that says the company cannot be trusted without adequate local controls to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens.
Piedmont mine would become one of the largest US sources of lithium for electric vehicle batteries. But officials have worried it could taint groundwater supplies and cause light and noise pollution, among other concerns.
Piedmont told an investment conference this week it expects state approval by mid-2022. County approval would be the next step. Piedmont has said it intends to engage in blasting multiple times per day. That has fueled concerns the company could blast during overnight hours, potentially affecting roughly 500 homes near the mine site.
The company last autumn signed a deal to supply Tesla Inc( with lithium sourced from North Carolina, sending its stock up tenfold, though the timeline to begin supply was pushed back indefinitely earlier this week.