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Local News

Piedmont Lithium Receives Key State Mining Permit

Credit: iStock

Piedmont Lithium has moved one step closer to establishing a lithium mine in rural Gaston County with the approval of a state mining permit. Issued by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the permit covers 1,548 acres and includes stringent provisions for wastewater and stormwater discharge, air quality, dust control, and water monitoring. The company is required to use synthetic liners in waste rock disposal and conduct frequent water quality testing.

Despite the economic promises of hundreds of jobs and billions in impact, the project has faced local opposition. Some Cherryville residents expressed environmental concerns and hesitated to speak on camera, fearing division within the community. Piedmont Lithium still needs additional permits and must navigate local zoning regulations before commencing operations. CEO Keith Phillips highlighted the mine’s potential to bolster the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain and contribute to a cleaner future. However, uncertainty remains as the community grapples with the project’s potential impact.