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home : community : e-community September 19, 2021

9/6/2021 2:17:00 AM
Public Comment Period Opens on Proposed Lithium Mine

Wayne Howard
Reporter


Piedmont Lithium wants to build one of the largest lithium mines in the US near Cherryville. Keith Phillips, President and CEO of Piedmont Lithium made a presentation to Gaston County Commissioners this Summer detailing the company's plans. The company had been expected to make a presentation in March, but didn't until mid-July.  A combination of their efforts to acquire mineral rights and purchase land related to the proposed mine had by then provoked adamant opposition.  At the presentation, a couple of dozen area residents voiced concerns, and Commissioners appeared less than favorably impressed with the proposal.

At a special called meeting August 6th, Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that established a 60-day moratorium on mining activities.

Piedmont's pressentation to the Commissioners in July was not a request for rezoning or a conditional use permit, those would have to come later; after the company gets a mining permit (if they do) from the North Carolina Dept. of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ).  They made their applicetion, and DEQ has established a public comment period through the end of this month on the proposal.

According to the DEQ news release, 
DEQ’s Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) received a mining permit application from Piedmont Lithium Carolinas for a site in Gaston County. The application materials can be found on the Mining Program website.

As directed by The Mining Act of 1971’s Section 74-50, DEMLR has opened a 30-day public comment period through Sept. 30, 2021, for requesting a public hearing on this project. Comments can be submitted via email to ncminingprogram@ncdenr.gov with the subject line “Piedmont Lithium Carolinas,” by leaving a voicemail at 919-707-9228, or by mail to:

David Miller
State Mining Engineer
Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources
Department of Environmental Quality
1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1612

The decision by DEQ approving or not approving the Piedmont Lithium application is very important.  Failure to get the application approved would nix the project without further action by Commissioners.  





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