Piedmont Lithium has been selected to receive a $141.7-million grant from the DOE, one of the first wave of projects aimed at expanding domestic supply of battery raw material funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The funding will support the construction of Piedmont’s Tennessee Lithium project, which has a budget of approximately $600 million and a goal of establishing lithium hydroxide production capacity of 30,000 metric tons per year.
The Tennessee Lithium project is located in McMinn County, Tennessee. The aim is to produce lithium hydroxide from spodumene concentrate using a process developed by Finnish firm Metso Outotec, which Piedmont says will deliver lower emissions than traditional processes.
Construction is to begin in 2023, and production expected to commence in 2025.
Piedmont is also developing projects in Quebec, Ghana and North Carolina. When its current portfolio of lithium assets becomes fully operational (by 2026), the company expects to be producing 60,000 tons per year of lithium hydroxide in the US. Piedmont estimates that the new US battery plants currently in the pipeline will require a collective 600,000 tons per year.
“The US government is putting investment dollars behind its policies to support energy independence and national security, and we are grateful to be selected to help spur critical, domestic development of the EV battery supply chain,” said Piedmont CEO Keith Phillips. “Over 80% of lithium hydroxide production today occurs in China. This grant will accelerate the development of the Tennessee Lithium project as a world-class lithium hydroxide operation, which is expected to more than double the domestic production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in the US.”
Source: Piedmont Lithium