Piedmont Lithium increases resource by 40% at North Carolina project

ASX-listed Piedmont Lithium has reported a 40% increase in the total mineral resource at its flagship spodumene project in the US state of North Carolina.

The Piedmont Lithium Project now has a total mineral resource estimate of 39.2 million tonnes at 1.09% lithium oxide, for an estimated 422,000 tonnes of lithium oxide and 1.04 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, with 55% in the indicated category.

“The expanded resource offers the potential for increased annual lithium production, something we will evaluate as we prepare our updated scoping study for release next month,” said Piedmont president and CEO Keith Phillips.

Piedmont raised US$122.5 million in March via a public offering, which is being used to develop its fully integrated spodumene-to-lithium hydroxide project. This came after the Australian junior signed a supply deal with Tesla last September.

Under the initial five-year agreement, Piedmont will sell around a third of total annual spodumene concentrate production from the project to Tesla. The electric vehicle (EV) giant had been seeking localised supply to its gigafactories across North America.

In December, Piedmont started a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project that envisions a 145,150 tonnes per year (tpy) mine and a spodumene concentrator producing 20,593 tpy of battery grade lithium hydroxide.

“Given the scope and strategic location of our Piedmont Lithium Project, we believe we are ideally positioned to play a critical role in helping the United States build a clean energy economy and a US-based EV supply chain.