Supporting our communities
To date, significant resources have been devoted to sponsoring important civic causes in the area surrounding our new corporate headquarters and our planned Carolina Lithium project, both of which are located in Gaston County, North Carolina. Since 2020, we have proudly contributed more than $300,000 to a number of civic organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Schiele Museum, Meals on Wheels, Toys for Tots, and the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce, among many others.
As plans evolve for our lithium hydroxide production facility in Tennessee, we expect similar investments to be made in the City of Etowah and McMinn County. Our goal is to be a responsible corporate neighbor with sponsorships across a range of activities that align with our purpose for our people, planet, and communities.
In 2022, Piedmont Lithium donated $150,000 to Gaston County Habitat for Humanity to build an affordable new home in the community and support the organization’s mission of helping families enjoy the benefits and opportunities of home ownership.
Piedmont Lithium Foundation: Power for Life
Piedmont has established Power for Life, a foundation that will focus on important educational initiatives and extend the science of our business into the communities in which we live, work, and play. The nonprofit’s goal is to sponsor science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) programs in local high schools, provide scholarship resources, and donate to support key philanthropic efforts as well as persons and organizations confronting crisis situations. We aim to begin making programs available through the foundation in 2023.
Partnering to Power a Modern Trolley
In 2022, Piedmont began a partnership with Belmont Trolley and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to help bring trolley service back to Gaston County. The sponsorship will help enable students from the College of Engineering to replace the current diesel generators with battery-powered systems. Restoration of the car barn and trolley cars, which last ran in Belmont in 1938, is expected to be complete in late 2023. This will provide the city with the nostalgic return of the trolleys with a modern, more energy-efficient approach to local transport.
Funding Important Geological Research
An exciting partnership was initiated by Piedmont in 2021 with the Smithsonian Institute and North Carolina State University to fund important research that could potentially speed exploration based on in-situ geochemical vectoring. The process is being designed and tested mainly with samples from the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt. Students are currently working to determine whether laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, or LIBS, can be applied to geological evaluations of mica, a mineral that can tell us if spodumene ore has formed at depth in areas where the rock is not visible on surface.
This laser technology could potentially transform conventional geological studies, which require hundreds to thousands of samples of earth to be sent to a lab to crush, dry, dissolve, convert to plasma, and send through a machine one atom at a time before determining geochemistry. The entire process typically takes a month and require extensive resources and energy. LIBS could drastically reduce the time, effort, research, and carbon emissions required for current geological studies, thereby speeding exploration activities while supporting a more sustainable footprint.
Joshua Mistele (left) is an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University who is helping perform some of the research associated with the laser technology. Mistele works closely with Russell Harmon, Ph.D., adjunct professor of North Carolina State University, (right) who supervises the LIBS research effort.