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Piedmont Lithium secures key mining permit in North Carolina

Published 15/04/2024, 14:26

BELMONT, N.C. - Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ: PLL (NASDAQ:PLL); ASX: PLL), a significant player in the American electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, has received a mining permit from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR). This permit is a crucial step forward for the company's Carolina Lithium project situated in Gaston County, North Carolina.

The DEMLR issued the permit following a comprehensive evaluation of the application Piedmont Lithium submitted on August 30, 2021. The permit, which is subject to customary and specific conditions for this type of operation, paves the way for the construction, operation, and reclamation phases of the proposed lithium project.

Keith Phillips, President and CEO of Piedmont Lithium, expressed gratitude towards the NCDEQ and DEMLR for their thoroughness throughout the permitting process and recognized the efforts of the Piedmont team over the past two and a half years. Phillips emphasized the project's intended role in creating a sustainable lithium hydroxide operation that could significantly contribute to the local economy through job creation and economic output.

The Carolina Lithium project stands out as strategically important due to its location in the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt and the U.S. Battery Belt. It is designed to be a fully integrated operation, encompassing mining, spodumene concentrate production, and lithium hydroxide manufacturing. This integrated approach is not currently in operation elsewhere in the world and is expected to offer economic and environmental benefits.

Piedmont Lithium's technical studies suggest that the project could be a low-cost producer, leveraging local infrastructure, minimal transportation needs, low energy costs, and proximity to key markets. The company also cites the competitive corporate tax environment in the U.S., the absence of significant royalties, and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 as advantageous factors for the project.

The approval of the mining permit is indicative of progress toward the county rezoning process, which is another step required before construction can commence. Piedmont Lithium is actively engaged in dialogue with potential funding sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office and strategic partners, to secure a robust financial plan for the project.

This news is based on a press release statement from Piedmont Lithium Inc.

InvestingPro Insights

Piedmont Lithium's recent permit acquisition marks a significant milestone for its Carolina Lithium project, and the company's financial metrics provide further insight into its market position. With a market capitalization of $374.47 million, Piedmont Lithium is poised to capitalize on the burgeoning EV market. However, it's important to note that the company's P/E ratio, as of the last twelve months ending in Q4 2023, stands at -7.05, indicating that investors are currently valuing the company's growth potential over current earnings.

The company's gross profit margin in the same period was 14.26%, reflecting its ability to control costs relative to its revenue—a key factor in the competitive EV supply market. Despite the negative operating income margin of -99.38%, this is not uncommon in growth phases for resource development companies, where upfront investment is significant.

Investors following Piedmont Lithium's journey may also be interested in the company's stock performance. The price total return over the past month shows a positive uptick of 5.79%, suggesting a recent boost in investor confidence following the permit news. However, the stock has experienced declines over longer periods, with a one-year price total return of -76.27%, which may reflect broader market trends or operational challenges.

For those looking to delve deeper into Piedmont Lithium's financials and future prospects, InvestingPro offers additional insights. Currently, there are 20 additional InvestingPro Tips available, which can help investors make more informed decisions. To access these tips and comprehensive analysis tools, use the coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription.

With the next earnings date scheduled for May 3, 2024, stakeholders and potential investors will be keen to assess the company's financial health and progress towards the construction phase of the Carolina Lithium project.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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