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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Albemarle, Caterpillar to partner on mining lithium in Kings Mountain

Albemarle and Caterpillar signed an agreement Wednesday to develop Albemarle’s lithium mine site in Kings Mountain.

The collaboration supports Charlotte-based Albemarle’s efforts to establish Kings Mountain as the first-ever zero-emissions lithium mine site in North America. Caterpillar, based in Irving, Texas, will use Albemarle-produced lithium in its battery production.

Area of Kings Mountain where Albemarle plans to mine for lithium.

The companies will collaborate on battery material supply and research, as well as the development and deployment of battery electric trucks and site energy transfer solutions.

“At Albemarle, we are committed to building a more resilient world,” says Albemarle’s Energy Storage President Eric Norris in a statement. “Our partners are critical to achieving that impact, and this collaboration with Caterpillar exhibits how we ‘walk the talk’ to pioneer what’s next. It’s a win-win-win scenario, in which we are both customers and suppliers of each other, and the innovation we pursue together benefits the world.

“Beyond supplying infrastructure and materials, battery-powered Caterpillar machinery and potential improvements to cell technology will open up new possibilities for the future of sustainable mining,” added Norris.

Norris says Albemarle will replicate in Kings Mountain the progress the company made at its Salar de Atacama mine in Chile, where he says it met stringent mining standards verified by a third-party audit.

The partnership creates “a new pathway where we can make a global impact – outside of the leadership we’re known for with EVs,” says Anita Natesh, Albemarle’s commercial vice president for North America, Europe and India for Energy Storage.

Wednesday’s announcement comes on the heels of Albemarle’s recent award of $90 million from the Department of Defense, to help support the expansion of domestic mining and the production of lithium for the nation’s battery supply chain.

Check back at BusinessNC.com for more details on this developing story.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

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