[ferro-alloys.com]Piedmont Lithium has commenced a new drilling program at its North Carolina lithium project, within the region's tin-spodumene belt, to increase its available mineral resource, the company said Aug. 26.
"The Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt is one of the world's most significant spodumene occurrences, and there are many high-priority targets remaining on our properties," Piedmont CEO Keith Phillips said in a statement.
Piedmont said the drilling program will focus on exploration target areas at the site's two main properties and additional occurrences of spodumene within surrounding regional properties.
"Spodumene is the dominant feedstock for the fast-growing lithium hydroxide market, and with over 80% of the world's hydroxide currently being produced in China, this is an opportune time for Piedmont to grow its mineral resources in the United States," Phillips said.
The North Carolina-focused lithium project developer currently estimates its total lithium mineral resource at 27.9 million mt, containing over 300,000 mt of lithium oxide, according to the company's most recent resource report.
Piedmont said the drilling results could potentially increase its expected output of US-sourced, battery-quality lithium hydroxide. The company currently projects an initial production capacity of 22,700 mt/year, according to the statement.
In a July report, Phillips said Piedmont would actively continue to work over the coming months on a definitive feasibility study for its proposed lithium hydroxide plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
(S&P Global Platts)