Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Mining Permit issued for Piedmont Lithium Mining operation

May 7, 2024

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) has issued a mining permit for the Piedmont Lithium Carolinas, Inc. operation, covering 1,548 acres in Gaston County, of which 964 acres is bonded for disturbance.

After thoroughly considering comments received during the public engagement process, including a public hearing held in November 2021, DEMLR has issued the permit with operational limits.

Conditions of Mining Permit 36-35 were based upon the Mining Act of 1971, and include provisions related to wastewater and stormwater discharge, air quality and dust control, blasting and buffers between the operation and any surrounding waterways. No on-site disposal of waste generated outside of the mining boundary is allowed without seeking permission from DEMLR. 

Additionally, the permit includes requirements for a synthetic liner in its waste rock disposal pile and additional water monitoring as follows:

  • Surface water sampling every two weeks.
  • Weekly monitoring of pH and water levels in monitoring wells around the above-ground storage areas.
  • Monthly sampling and analysis of water quality in monitoring wells.
  • Quarterly sampling of the groundwater monitoring well network nearby in-pit rock storage. 

Additional state permits for air quality and wastewater discharge will be required before the facility can begin operations. The issuance of a mining permit does not supersede or otherwise affect or prevent the enforcement of any zoning regulation or ordinance duly adopted by an incorporated city or county.  

The final permit, final permit reviews and hearing officer reports can be found on the DEMLR website.