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Albemarle Introduces Project Plan for the Kings Mountain Mine to Community

11 June 2024
  • Plan includes responsible land and material use, environmental protection measures and ongoing community engagement

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), a global leader in providing essential elements for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health, has introduced its project plan for the Kings Mountain Mine, one of the few known hard-rock lithium deposits in the U.S. The plan includes the proposed site footprint, primary physical features and details of the mining processes. Pending permitting approval and a final investment decision, the mine is anticipated to produce approximately 420,000 tons of lithium-bearing spodumene concentrate yearly, providing a crucial building block for sustainable transportation and to support key defense applications.

"The Kings Mountain Mine is a world-class resource that can provide an essential element to power our future," said Albemarle Energy Storage President Eric Norris. "We are pleased to share our plan with the community as we continue to seek their engagement to redevelop this rich, domestic resource in a safe and responsible manner."

The proposed project plan, shared today at a community open house and available online, includes several environmentally and socially responsible mining features and practices:

  • Reduced land disturbance: The plan includes the use of the former Kings Mountain Mine to support mining operations and the use of a former mica mine for tailings storage—both designed to minimize the amount of land disturbance necessary.
  • Sustainable materials management: Non-ore-bearing material from mining operations is planned to be transferred to the adjacent Martin Marietta Kings Mountain Quarry for processing and sale as construction aggregate. The arrangement is intended to contribute to a more sustainable management of resources and a portion of the sales are planned to be used to support Kings Mountain and the surrounding communities. In addition, Albemarle is currently testing secondary markets for processed ore tailings, which may have applications in ceramics or construction materials industries.
  • High standards and accountability: Planning for environmental protection measures and community engagement has been conducted to align with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance's (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining, a comprehensive set of requirements designed to reduce adverse environmental and social impacts and create benefits for local communities. Once operational, the mine would undergo a full third-party verification assessment conducted by an IRMA-approved certification body.
  • Sustainable water management: The mine is designed to operate with collected precipitation to support its operations, relying on external sources only for drinking water, fire protection and sanitary purposes.

With the U.S. currently producing less than 2% of the world's supply of lithium, the Kings Mountain Mine is expected to play a key role in growing the U.S. supply chain. In 2023, Albemarle was awarded a $90 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to help support the purchase of a fleet of mining equipment as part of the mine's redevelopment. Lithium is a critical element for key defense applications including batteries for communications equipment and remote and deep-sea sensors, and for carbon dioxide adsorption in submarines, gas masks and the space program. In 2022, Albemarle was also awarded a $150 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.

Along with the project plan, Albemarle also commenced the public participation portion of a voluntary Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). As a key element of IRMA's Standard for Responsible Mining, the assessment seeks to better understand and manage potential impacts from the proposed mine with consideration to the surrounding environment, local economy, and the community's health and safety. Albemarle plans to use the outcomes of the assessment to develop environmental and social management plans to minimize adverse impacts and enhance benefits. 

Stakeholder participation is essential to the ESIA's development and Albemarle is encouraging the community to engage in the process via planned meetings and by submitting comments. Albemarle plans to publish and share the assessment's findings and anticipated management measures with the community stakeholders throughout 2024 and 2025. More information about the assessment, including a draft scoping report, can be found at https://albemarlekingsmountain.com.

About Albemarle
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) leads the world in transforming essential resources into critical ingredients for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health. We partner to pioneer new ways to move, power, connect and protect with people and planet in mind. A reliable and high-quality global supply of lithium and bromine allows us to deliver advanced solutions for our customers.

Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains statements concerning our expectations, anticipations and beliefs regarding the future, including, without limitation, project plans related to the Kings Mountain Mine, information related to the use of and benefits derived from government grants, plans related to community support, and all information relating to matters that are not historical facts, which constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, which are based on assumptions that we have made as of the date hereof and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, often contain words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "guidance," "intend," "may," "outlook," "should," "would," and "will." Forward-looking statements may include statements regarding the timing of resumption of mining operations at Kings Mountain Mine, Albemarle's and Martin Marietta's performance under the agreement, and expectations regarding organizations to receive benefits from any royalties to be received under the agreement, and all other information relating to matters that are not historical facts. Factors that could cause Albemarle's actual results to differ materially from the outlook expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include: changes in economic and business conditions; financial and operating performance of customers; timing and magnitude of customer orders; fluctuations in lithium market prices; production volume shortfalls; increased competition; changes in product demand; availability and cost of raw materials and energy; technological change and development; fluctuations in foreign currencies; changes in laws and government regulation; regulatory actions, proceedings, claims or litigation; cyber-security breaches, terrorist attacks, industrial accidents or natural disasters; political unrest; changes in inflation or interest rates; volatility in the debt and equity markets; acquisition and divestiture transactions; timing and success of projects and collaborations; performance of Albemarle's partners in joint ventures and other projects; changes in credit ratings; and the other factors detailed from time to time in the reports Albemarle files with the SEC, including those described under "Risk Factors" in Albemarle's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are filed with the SEC and available on the investor section of Albemarle's website () and on the SEC's website at. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Albemarle assumes no obligation to provide any revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.

Media Contact:
Ryan Dean, 912-424-7411, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Investor Relations Contact: 
Meredith Bandy, +1 (980) 999-5768, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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