Piedmont Lithium Corporate Update

BELMONT, N.C. – Piedmont Lithium Inc. (Nasdaq: PLL) (ASX: PLL) (“Piedmont” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on our recent accomplishments and development plans:

  • Carolina Lithium Project

    • 
      Scoping update published in June 2021 contemplating 30,000 tonnes per year (“tpy”) lithium hydroxide production on a single integrated site in Gaston County, North Carolina

      • Superior sustainability profile vs. current producers in China and South America
      • Strong projected economics – ~$1.9bb NPV and ~$400mm steady-state EBITDA
    • Expected to employ ~500 people in well-paying jobs while making Gaston County a magnet for other businesses in the EV supply chain, and driving opportunities for a broad array of local small businesses
    • Definitive feasibility study expected in the second half of 2021
    • Permitting and approval process advancing

      • Clean Water Act Section 404 Standard Individual Permit received in 2019
      • Will apply for new air permit given the shift to a single site and the Metso Outotec process
      • Local approval process commenced in July 2021
      • North Carolina state mining permit application to be submitted in August 2021
  • Strategic Initiatives

    • Canada – Sayona Quebec and North American Lithium (“NAL”)
      • Piedmont owns a 39.6% effective economic interest in Sayona Quebec
      • Sayona Quebec is poised to become Canada’s largest lithium project by resource tonnage with the completion of the acquisition of North American Lithium expected in August 2021
    • Ghana – IronRidge Resources (“IRR”)
      • Piedmont is acquiring a 9.5% stake in IronRidge Resources (AIM: IRR) and may earn up to a 50% interest in IRR’s Ghanaian lithium portfolio
      • The Ewoyaa project is expected to have strong economics given its high-grade mineral resource, DMS-only process, low-cost hydro power, and close proximity to an international port
    • Piedmont has offtake agreements in place for 50% of spodumene concentrate production from Sayona/NAL and IRR Ghana, underpinning potential future growth in lithium hydroxide production
  • Corporate Matters

    • Piedmont redomiciled to become a US corporation in May 2021
    • Executive team bolstered with senior appointments including COO and CFO
    • Lithium offtake discussions ongoing with leading participants in the EV supply chain
    • Strategic partnering process underway and DOE ATVM loan application to be submitted in H2 2021
    • Cash balance of approximately $143 million as of June 30, 2021

Keith D. Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Piedmont is positioned to become a leading producer of lithium hydroxide while positively impacting the communities in which we operate by creating jobs, attracting other EV supply chain participants, increasing the tax base, and broadly supporting other local small businesses. Through direct investment and contracted offtake, we control a significant quantity of potential spodumene concentrate production in three critical locations. We believe spodumene is the preferred feedstock for the EV supply chain and that ‘owning the resource’ is the key to value creation in the lithium industry. We look forward to constructively engaging in the permitting and approval process for Carolina Lithium and driving further value for our shareholders by advancing the Quebec and Ghana projects toward development decisions.”

Carolina Lithium Project

On June 9, 2021, Piedmont Lithium published a Scoping Study Update which featured plans to construct a 30,000 tpy lithium hydroxide manufacturing business on a single campus in Gaston County, North Carolina.

The proposed Carolina Lithium Project has the potential for exceptional project economics. There are currently no such integrated sites operating anywhere in the world, and the economic and environmental advantages of this strategy are compelling:

  • Premier location in Gaston County, North Carolina – “the cradle of the lithium business”
  • Reduction of spodumene concentrate transportation costs and related noise and emissions
  • On-site solar power to lower costs and reduce reliance on diesel fueled equipment
  • Potential to co-locate other downstream battery materials / Li-ion battery manufacturing
  • Creation of approximately 500 manufacturing, engineering, and management jobs


Figure 1 – Lithium hydroxide 2028 AISC cost curve (real basis) (Roskill)

AISC includes all direct and indirect operating costs including feedstock costs (internal AISC), refining, corporate G&A and selling expenses.

Community Impact

Piedmont Lithium expects to employ approximately 500 skilled local workers at an average $90,000 per year in salary and benefits, all in a safe, modern, state-of-the-art work environment.

Our Carolina Lithium Project will make Gaston County a North American leader in the electric vehicle supply chain and attract other supporting businesses that will generate quality jobs and increase tax revenue. Our operation will rely on the support of many small businesses in the area, including maintenance contractors, delivery drivers, caterers, machine shops, fabricators, uniform services, and many more. It will also enable and enrich the base of skilled manufacturing jobs and expand training programs in Gaston County.

Permitting Update

To date, Piedmont Lithium has obtained three important permits required to commence construction of our Carolina Lithium Project, including:

  • A Section 404 Standard Individual Permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act, which included an Environmental Assessment resulting in a Finding of No Significant Impact
  • An Individual 401 Water Quality Certificate issued by North Carolina Division of Water Resources under the Clean Water Act
  • A Synthetic Minor Title V Air Permit issued by North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (“NCDEQ”) – Division of Air Quality under the Clean Air Act

Additional permits or permit amendments will be required before construction can begin on the planned integrated Carolina Lithium operations. Remaining key permits include:

  • NC State Mining Permit issued by NCDEQ’s Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources (“DEMLR”)
  • Application for a new air permit due to the relocation of Piedmont Lithium’s planned lithium hydroxide manufacturing plant to Gaston County and the switch to the Metso Outotec process
  • A Conditional District rezoning approval from Gaston County approved by the Gaston County Board of Commissioners

The Company plans to submit its mine permit application to DEMLR in August 2021. After we submit the mine permit application and adjacent property owner notifications have been confirmed, then permit review will proceed through a structured process. This structured process includes a public comment period, review by DEMLR and other state agencies and divisions within NCDEQ, a potential public hearing, possible requests for additional information made by DEMLR, responses by Piedmont Lithium, and issuance of a draft permit.

Conditional district rezoning will require a recommendation by the Gaston County Planning Board and majority approval by the Gaston County Board of Commissioners. Piedmont Lithium expects to conduct multiple public information meetings as part of the rezoning process. The Company made an initial presentation of its integrated project plans to the Gaston County Board of Commissioners on July 20, 2021. The Company is in pre-application consultation with Gaston County at this time and coordinating with county officials with respect to future additional presentation dates.

Each of the DEMLR mine permit and county rezoning approvals will be mutually conditioned upon each other.

Definitive Feasibility Study and Project Timeline

Our Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) of the 30,000 tpy integrated Carolina Lithium Project should be completed within the second half of 2021. The Company currently contemplates a start of construction in Q2 2022 subject to market conditions, project financing, and the successful conclusion of the permitting and approval processes, among other factors.

Canada – Sayona Quebec and North American Lithium

In January 2021, Piedmont Lithium entered into a strategic partnership with Sayona Mining Limited (“Sayona”) (ASX: SYA) through the purchase of an equity stake in Sayona and a 25% interest in its 100%-owned Quebec subsidiary, Sayona Quebec Inc (“Sayona Quebec”). Sayona Quebec owns the DFS-level Authier lithium project and the highly prospective Tansim exploration property, both located near the mining center of Val-d’Or, Quebec.

On June 30, 2021, the Superior Court of Quebec (Commercial Division) granted an approval and vesting order regarding the Company’s joint bid with Sayona for the acquisition of NAL, paving the way for Sayona Quebec to acquire all the shares and substantially all the assets of NAL. The transaction is expected to close in August 2021. NAL owns La Corne, a permitted, brownfield spodumene project located approximately 20 miles from Sayona’s core Authier project. La Corne has a Mineral Resource of 47.0Mt @ 1.19% Li2O[1] and has had over $400 million invested in mining, concentrate and refining capacity. The project was operational and ramping toward nameplate production in 2018, when it was placed on care and maintenance due to weak lithium markets.

The combination of Authier and La Corne will create one of Canada’s largest lithium projects, all strategically located near the mining center of Val-d’Or in the Abitibi region of Quebec, with good proximity to rail and highway transportation networks as well as experienced mining and contracting talent. Piedmont will work closely with Sayona to upgrade the existing spodumene concentrate (“SC6”) plant and integrate the Authier ore body with La Corne. Piedmont has offtake agreements in place allowing the Company to purchase the greater of 113,000 tpy or 50% of annual SC6 production from the merged operation. We are evaluating options to build a conversion operation that could process Sayona SC6 as well as third-party SC6 into lithium hydroxide in Quebec, capitalizing on Quebec’s access to zero-carbon, low-cost hydropower, world-class infrastructure, and the initiative of the Quebec and Canadian governments to develop a local battery materials supply chain.

Mr. Phillips added, “Quebec is poised to become an important lithium production center and Piedmont Lithium is acquiring a significant stake in the province’s largest and best-located spodumene resource. We are developing plans for what could be a world-class Quebec-based lithium hydroxide business to complement our Carolina Lithium strategy.”

Ghana – IronRidge Resources

On July 1, 2021, Piedmont Lithium announced a strategic partnership with IronRidge Resources (AIM: IRR) through the purchase of an equity stake in IRR, staged project investments to earn a 50% interest in IRR’s Ghana-based lithium portfolio (“IRR Ghana”), and a binding supply agreement to purchase 50% of IRR Ghana’s planned SC6 production. IRR Ghana has an impressive portfolio of spodumene prospects, anchored by the highly promising Ewoyaa Project (“Ewoyaa”).

Ewoyaa has a current Mineral Resource of 14.5Mt @ 1.31% Li2O with substantial exploration upside,[2] and we believe it has the potential to be a large, low-cost spodumene concentrate producer. In January 2021, IRR published a scoping study for Ewoyaa forecasting an average of 295,000 tpy of planned SC6 production, a $345 million after-tax net present value and an after-tax internal rate of return of 125%, for initial capital investment of $68 million.[3] These anticipated project economics, if realized, would result in part from Ewoyaa’s location only 70 miles to the major port of Takoradi, direct access to clean solar and hydroelectric power, as well as the DMS-only process which is suitable for Ewoyaa’s coarse-grained spodumene.

Piedmont Lithium hopes to complete a definitive feasibility study for Ewoyaa by mid-2023 and to be producing spodumene concentrate by 2025. Piedmont Lithium believes its Ewoyaa offtake rights can underpin significant growth in its lithium hydroxide position and is currently evaluating possible conversion sites in North America.

“We believe Ewoyaa is an exceptional project with great upside. We believe it is Africa’s best-located lithium project and we look forward to working with our partners at IRR to update the mineral resources and economics at Ewoyaa and incorporate those into our future lithium hydroxide conversion plans in North America,” commented Mr. Phillips.

Corporate Matters

  • Redomicile – In May 2021, Piedmont successfully completed a redomiciling process to become an American (Delaware) corporation headquartered in Gaston County, North Carolina, with a primary listing on Nasdaq and a secondary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange. The redomiciling process has helped attract U.S. institutional investor and analyst following of the Company, which we believe will drive higher shareholder value over time.
  • Director and Officer Appointments – As part of our transition to becoming an American company we appointed Claude Demby and Susan Jones to our Board of Directors in May 2021, bringing two seasoned executives with substantial governance experience to help guide our Company. We have added several important members to our team over the past several months, highlighted by the appointments of David Klanecky, former head of Albemarle’s hard rock lithium business, as Chief Operating Officer, and Michael White as our Chief Financial Officer. Piedmont’s employee base is now 24 strong, including a talented technical team with deep experience in the lithium and mining industries.
  • Financial Position – In March 2021 the Company completed a successful U.S. equity placement and our cash balance was approximately $143 million on June 30, 2021, our fiscal year end. We believe our cash position is sufficient to fund our global pre-construction activities at least through the end of 2022.
  • Project Financing – In June 2021, we commenced a process to engage with potential strategic partners for the equity funding of the Carolina Lithium Project, and in September 2021 we plan to apply for project debt financing from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan program. These funding processes are expected to run in parallel with our permitting/approval process.
  • Customer Relationships / Lithium Offtake – Piedmont maintains strong relationships with many of the leading participants in the electric vehicle supply chain, including cathode and battery manufacturers as well as automotive OEMs. The initial delivery dates contemplated in our existing spodumene concentrate sales agreement have been extended by mutual agreement.
  • Legal – With respect to the recent class action lawsuit filed by a Piedmont Lithium shareholder, Piedmont believes this action to be entirely without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.

About Piedmont Lithium

Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq: PLL; ASX: PLL) is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, the cradle of the lithium industry, positions us to be one of the world’s lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide, and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing US electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers places us on the path to be the most sustainable producer of lithium hydroxide in the world and should allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. For more information, please visit www.piedmontlithium.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation in the United States and Australia, including statements regarding current and future plans of Piedmont and its strategic partners; strategy; value; returns; capital allocation and investment; exploration, development and construction efforts and plans; and expectations regarding permitting, production, costs and expenses. These forward-looking statements are based on Piedmont’s expectations and beliefs of Piedmont and its strategic partners concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Piedmont, which could cause actual timing, achievements, results and performance to differ materially from the future timing, achievements, results and performance implied by such statements. Such factors include, among others, hazards inherent in the mining business (including risks inherent to exploring, developing, constructing and operating mining projects), risks regarding our ability to achieve profitability, enter into and deliver product under supply agreements on favorable terms, our ability to obtain sufficient financing to develop and construct our projects, our ability to comply with governmental regulations and our ability to obtain necessary permits and approvals, as well as other uncertainties and risk factors set out in filings made from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Australian securities regulators, including, without limitation, our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Piedmont makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect new information or the circumstances or events after the date of that this announcement.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources

The Project’s Core Property Mineral Resource of 25.1Mt @ 1.13% Li2O comprises Indicated Mineral Resources of 12.5Mt @ 1.13% Li2O and Inferred Mineral Resources of 12.6Mt @ 1.04% Li2O. The Central property Mineral Resource of 2.80Mt @ 1.34% Li2O comprises Indicated Mineral Resources of 1.41Mt @ 1.38% Li2O and 1.39Mt @ 1.29% Li2O. The information contained in this announcement has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Australia, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. The terms “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are Australian terms defined in accordance with the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the “JORC Code”). However, these terms are not defined in Industry Guide 7 under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), and are normally not permitted to be used in reports and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has adopted amendments to its disclosure rules to modernize the mineral property disclosure requirements for issuers whose securities are registered with the SEC under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as a result, the SEC now recognizes estimates of “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” and “inferred mineral resources”. In addition, the SEC has amended its definitions of “proven mineral reserves” and “probable mineral reserves” to be “substantially similar” to the corresponding definitions under the JORC Code. However, information contained herein that describes Piedmont’s mineral deposits may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in Piedmont’s Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, a copy of which may be obtained from Piedmont or from the EDGAR system on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/.

Competent Persons Statement

The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results, Metallurgical Testwork Results, Exploration Targets, Mineral Resources, Concentrator Process Design, Concentrator Capital Costs, Concentrator Operating Costs, Mining Engineering and Mining Schedule is extracted from the Company’s ASX announcements dated July 23, 2020, May 26, 2020, June 25, 2019, April 24, 2019, and September 6, 2018, which are available to view on the Company’s website at www.piedmontlithium.com. Piedmont confirms that: a) it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original ASX announcements; b) all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning Mineral Resources, Exploration Targets, Production Targets, and related forecast financial information derived from Production Targets included in the original ASX announcements continue to apply and have not materially changed; and c) the form and context in which the relevant Competent Persons’ findings are presented in this report have not been materially modified from the original ASX announcements.

  1. 47.0Mt @ 1.19% Li2O announced by Canada Lithium Corp. effective 12 October 2012 and available at www.sedar.com
  2. Refer to IRR’s AIM announcement dated January 28, 2020, available at www.ironridgeresources.com.au.
  3. Refer to IRR’s AIM announcement dated January 19, 2021, available at www.ironridgeresources.com.au.

For further information, contact:

Piedmont Lithium Makes Presentation to Gaston County Commissioners and Community

Reviews Project Scope and Commitment to Safety, Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship

BELMONT, N.C. – Piedmont Lithium Inc. (Nasdaq: PLL, ASX: PLL), a pre-production business targeting the integrated production of battery quality lithium hydroxide to support a US and global electric vehicle supply chain, completed its initial public presentation to the community and Board of Commissioners of Gaston County, North Carolina on July 20, 2021. The presentation addressed how the Carolina Lithium Project could position Gaston County to be a significant part of the new U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, the bipartisan support for the development of critical minerals in the United States, and Piedmont’s commitment to protect the environment and community.

“We were honored to present at last night’s meeting, and we welcomed the opportunity to provide an update on our company, our values and our proposed project to the Gaston County commissioners and our community. We confirmed last night that we would submit our North Carolina state mining permit application in August 2021 as planned, and we look forward to addressing all of the questions that arise during the permitting and rezoning process. We are committed to building the safest, most sustainable, and environmentally responsible project of this kind in the world,” said Keith Phillips, Piedmont Lithium President and CEO.

Piedmont also addressed misunderstandings in recent media reports regarding Piedmont’s development timeline, permit applications, and commitment to the environment. “Although we received important federal permits for our project in 2019, Piedmont’s upcoming state mining permit and county rezoning applications could only advance once our definitive plans were established. Our project has evolved significantly over the past four years – we have selected more efficient and environmentally friendly technology, and fully-integrated our business plan into a single campus in Gaston County, North Carolina. These project improvements have resulted in adjustments to our plans and, with the results of our recent studies and improved lithium markets, we’re excited to move forward with the state and local approval processes,” added Phillips.

About Piedmont Lithium

Piedmont is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, positions us to be one of the world’s lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing U.S. electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers, places Piedmont on the path to be the most sustainable producer of lithium hydroxide in the world and allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. Additional information is available at www.piedmontlithium.com.

Brian Risinger, 1-704-910-9688

brisinger@piedmontlithium.com

Piedmont Expands Spodumene Resources Through Investments In IronRidge Resources

Supports Piedmont’s Plan to Become America’s #1 Producer of Lithium Hydroxide

  • PLL to acquire 9.47% of IronRidge Resources (“IRR”) and a 50% interest in IRR’s Ghana-based lithium portfolio
  • $15mm equity placement and 50% project interest to be earned through staged investments over 3-4 years
  • 
    Binding supply agreement for 50% of IRR’s planned Ghanaian spodumene concentrate (“SC6”) production
  • The IRR Ghana SC6 supply will support staged growth in Piedmont’s lithium hydroxide production

    • Feasibility Study of Carolina Lithium’s integrated 30,000 t/y LiOH on track for September 2021
    • 30,000 t/y integrated LiOH project in Quebec to be evaluated jointly with Sayona Mining
    • IRR SC6 supply provides optionality for incremental 30,000 t/y LiOH capacity at a site to be determined
    • Hydroxide capacity to be developed in stages to minimize execution and funding risks

BELMONT, N.C. – Piedmont Lithium Inc. (Nasdaq: PLL) is pleased to announce that it has entered into definitive agreements (the “Agreements”) to establish a strategic partnership with IronRidge Resources (“IRR”) (AIM: IRR) through the purchase of an equity stake in IRR, staged project investments to earn a 50% interest in IRR’s Ghana-based lithium portfolio (“IRR Ghana”), and a binding supply agreement for 50% of IRR Ghana’s planned spodumene concentrate (“SC6”) production.

IRR Ghana has an impressive portfolio of spodumene prospects, anchored by the highly promising Ewoyaa Project (the “Ewoyaa Project”). The Ewoyaa Project has a current Mineral Resource of 14.5Mt @ 1.31% Li2O with vast exploration potential.[1] The Ewoyaa Project has the potential to be a large, low-cost spodumene concentrate (“SC6”) producer.

In January 2021, IRR published a scoping study for the Ewoyaa Project forecasting an average of 295,000 t/y of planned SC6 production, a $345 million after-tax net present value and an after-tax internal rate of return of 125%, for initial capital investment of $70 million.[2] The Ewoyaa Project capitalizes on its excellent location less than one mile from a major national highway and only 70 miles to the major port of Takoradi. The site is also directly adjacent to high voltage power and is expected to have a low environmental impact due to reliance on solar and hydroelectric generating capacity to power the facility. Piedmont conducted extensive due diligence over the past several months, including through site visits to Ghana, and believes that IRR Ghana has significant upside potential.

Piedmont will invest approximately $15 million (£10.8mm) to acquire a 9.47% equity interest in IRR (the “Subscription”) and will appoint one director to IRR’s Board of Directors. Piedmont will also have the opportunity to earn a 50% stake in IRR Ghana by investing (i) $17 million to fund ongoing exploration and a definitive feasibility study over the next 24 months to earn an initial 22.5% project interest, and (ii) a further $70 million in 2023-2025 to fund the construction of the Ewoyaa Project to earn an additional 27.5% project interest, which would bring the total to 50% ownership in IRR Ghana (together, the “Project Investment”). Piedmont and IRR have also entered into a binding SC6 supply agreement (the “Supply Agreement”), conditioned on Piedmont completing its earn-in obligations, pursuant to which IRR will supply Piedmont 50% of IRR Ghana’s planned SC6 production (currently estimated to be 147,500 t/y) at market prices on a life-of-mine basis.

The Subscription is expected to close in August 2021 subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent with the Project Investment expected to be staged over a three-to-four-year period leading to initial production in 2025. Material terms of the Agreements are included in the Summary of Transaction Terms at the end of this announcement.

Keith D. Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are very pleased to announce a partnership with IronRidge Resources to jointly develop their outstanding spodumene project portfolio in Ghana. We consider IRR’s Ewoyaa Project to be among the world’s most promising spodumene projects. The high-grade mineral resource is currently modest in scale but offers substantial exploration potential, and the project is very well-located, being only 70 miles from a major port. Ewoyaa builds on Piedmont’s strategic commitment to be a large-scale and low-cost producer of lithium hydroxide from spodumene concentrate sourced from diverse sustainable resources in favorable jurisdictions.

“Ghana is one of Africa’s most successful nations, with a strong mining tradition and an increasingly diverse economic base. In naming Ghana as the headquarters for its entire African business earlier this year, Twitter described Ghana as a ‘Champion for Democracy’. Euler-Hermes regularly rates Ghana among the lowest-risk jurisdictions in the region, and Transparency International rates Ghana ahead of other lithium-rich countries such as Argentina, China, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Mali, and the DRC in its annual corruption perception rankings.

“2021 has been a transformative year for Piedmont. We have built the world’s premier lithium development leadership team, significantly expanded our world-class Carolina Lithium Project, and become a multi-asset company through strategic investments in Quebec and in Ghana. We raised sufficient capital in March 2021 to comfortably fund these strategic initiatives as well as our definitive feasibility study in North Carolina and should end 2021 with a robust cash balance. We will now evaluate plans to capitalize on our expanded spodumene resource base to become a larger producer of the battery-quality lithium hydroxide that America will require to power the ongoing transition to electric vehicles. Lithium has been called ‘the irreplaceable element of the electric era,’ and we will bring large-scale production of lithium hydroxide to America.”

Summary of Transaction Terms

Subscription
Subscriber Piedmont Lithium Inc. (Nasdaq:PLL)
Issuer IronRidge Resources (AIM:IRR)
No. of Securities 54,000,000 shares
Subscription Price 20p per share
Total Investment £10,800,000 (approximately $15 million)
Board Representation For so long as the Subscriber holds voting power of at least 9% in the Issuer, the Subscriber will have the right to appoint one person as a non-executive director of the Issuer
Conditions Precedent Completion of the subscription for shares is subject to the following conditions precedent:

  • The Issuer obtaining shareholder approval for the issue of the shares to the Subscriber;
  • The Issuer and the Subscriber obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals for the subscription for shares; and
  • No material adverse effect on the Issuer having occurred prior to the date the other conditions precedent are satisfied.
Project Investment
Project IronRidge Resources Ghana and its Affiliates (“IRR Ghana”)
Initial Interest 22.5% of IRR Ghana
Initial Interest Consideration Piedmont will solely fund:

  • $5 million of exploration expenses
  • $12 million of definitive feasibility expenses
Initial Interest Condition Piedmont’s Initial Interest will be issued upon:

  • Completion of definitive feasibility study
  • Piedmont’s election to proceed with further interest investment
  • Piedmont will be entitled to appoint 50% of the Board of Directors of IRR Ghana upon satisfaction of the Initial Interest Conditions
Further Interest 27.5% of IronRidge Resources Ghana and its Affiliates
Further Interest Consideration Piedmont will solely fund the first $70 million of capital costs for the Ewoyaa Project
Further Interest Conditions Commencement of funding of the Further Interest Consideration will occur upon:

  • A Decision to Mine undertaken by the Board of IRR Ghana
  • Customary Authorizations required for construction of the Ewoyaa Project
Other The Parties will equally share any cost savings or overruns in the Initial or Further Interests

Customary representations, warranties, and pre-completion obligations

Conditions Precedent The Initial and Further Interest are subject to the following Conditions Precedent

  • Completion of due diligence by both parties
  • Completion of the Share Subscription Agreement
  • Obtainment of all Authorizations, if any, including approval of FIRB of Australia
Supply Agreement
Buyer Piedmont Lithium Inc. (or its nominee)
Seller IronRidge Resources and its Affiliates
Product Spodumene concentrate containing 6.0% Li2O grade (dry basis)
Quantity 50% of Seller’s planned production
Term Life-of-mine
Price Market pricing (based on an average price for CIF China Price (US$) for 6.0% SC6 dry basis)
Conditions
  • Buyer and Seller agreeing to a start date for Product deliveries between July 2025 and July 2026 based on the development schedules of both parties
  • Supply Agreement is conditioned upon Piedmont’s satisfaction of earn-in obligations to acquire the Initial Interest and Further Interest of IRR Ghana

About IronRidge Resources

IronRidge Resources is an AIM-listed, Africa focused minerals exploration company with a lithium pegmatite discovery in Ghana, extensive grassroots gold portfolio in Côte d’Ivoire and a potential new gold province discovery in Chad. The Company holds legacy iron ore assets in Gabon and a bauxite resource in Australia. IronRidge’s strategy is to create and sustain shareholder value through the discovery and development of significant and globally demanded commodities. For more information, please visit www.ironridgeresources.com.au.

About Piedmont Lithium


Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq:PLL; ASX:PLL) is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, the cradle of the lithium industry, positions us to be one of the world’s lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide, and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing US electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers places us on the path to be among the most sustainable producers of lithium hydroxide in the world and should allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. For more information, visit www.piedmontlithium.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Piedmont’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Piedmont, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Piedmont makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement. U.S. investors are urged to consider Piedmont’s disclosure in its SEC filings, copies of which may be obtained from Piedmont or from the EDGAR system on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources

The information contained herein and previously reported by IronRidge Resources has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Australia, which differ from the requirements of United States securities laws. The terms “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are Australian mining terms defined in accordance with the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the “JORC Code”). Comparable terms are now also defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in its newly adopted Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants as promogulated in its S-K 1300 standards.  While the guidelines for reporting mineral resources, including subcategories of measured, indicated, and inferred resources, are largely similar for JORC and S-K 1300 standards, information contained herein that describes IronRidge Resources’ mineral deposits is not fully comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder Piedmont does not guaranty or verify the accuracy of any disclosure made by IronRidge Resources.

Competent Persons Statements

The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results, Metallurgical Testwork Results, Mineral Resources, Process Design, Capital Costs, Operating Costs, Mining Engineering and Mining Schedule for Piedmont’s Carolina Lithium Project is extracted from the Company’s ASX announcements dated June 10, 2021, June 9, 2021, and April 8, 2021 which are available to view on the Company’s website at www.piedmontlithium.com. Piedmont confirms that: a) it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original ASX announcements; b) all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning Mineral Resources, Exploration Targets, Production Targets, and related forecast financial information derived from Production Targets included in the original ASX announcements continue to apply and have not materially changed; and c) the form and context in which the relevant Competent Persons’ findings are presented in this report have not been materially modified from the original ASX announcements.

  1. Refer to IRR announcement dated January 28, 2020.
  2. Refer to IRR announcement dated January 19, 2021.



Piedmont and Sayona Receive Court Approval for Acquisition of Québec-based North American Lithium

Plans Underway for Large-Scale Lithium Hydroxide Production in Québec 

  • Superior Court of Québec approves Sayona Québec’s acquisition of North American Lithium (“NAL”)
  • Total cash consideration of approximately C$94mm with transaction completion expected in Q3 2021
  • Piedmont will fund approximately C$23.5mm, representing its 25% stake in Sayona Québec
  • Detailed study of the integration of NAL with Sayona Québec’s Authier Project to commence in the coming weeks
  • Sayona and Piedmont jointly committed to development of lithium hydroxide capacity in Québec

BELMONT, N.C. – Piedmont Lithium Inc. (Nasdaq: PLL) is pleased to announce that the Superior Court of Québec (Commercial Division) has granted an approval and vesting order regarding the Company’s joint bid with Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) for the acquisition of North American Lithium (“NAL”) by Sayona Québec Inc. (“Sayona Quebec”) in the context of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings of NAL. Piedmont is a 25% shareholder of Sayona Québec and owns 19.79% of the outstanding common shares of Sayona Mining Limited.

At the completion of the transaction Sayona Québec will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of NAL and substantially all of its assets. The order of Superior Court of Québec provides that the assets acquired in the transaction will be free and clear of any encumbrances other than certain specific permitted encumbrances accepted by Sayona Québec.

NAL owns a large, previously-producing lithium asset project located approximately 20 miles from Sayona’s core Authier project near the important mining center of Val-d’Or in the Abitibi region of Québec. NAL is fully permitted, has a Mineral Resource of 57.7Mt @ 1.05% Li2O, and has had over $400 million invested in mining, concentrate and refining capacity. The project was operational and ramping toward nameplate production in 2018, when it was placed on care and maintenance due to weak lithium markets and a sub-optimal capital structure.

Sayona and Piedmont are proceeding with technical studies that contemplate integrating Sayona Québec’s Authier and Tansim projects with the facilities at NAL, including restart requirements, technical improvements, and optimization of NAL operations in order to fully utilize this competitive set of assets. Furthermore, Sayona and Piedmont will prioritize manufacturing of lithium hydroxide in Québec, capitalizing on Québec’s competitive advantages, including access to zero-carbon, low-cost hydropower, skilled labor, world-class infrastructure, and the initiative of both the Canadian and provincial governments to develop the lithium-ion battery materials and EV industry.

Keith D. Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are very pleased to be working with our partners at Sayona to consolidate the spodumene resources in the Abitibi region of Québec. NAL is a past-producing business with a large, high-grade mineral resource located in close proximity to Sayona’s Authier project and to the important mining center of Val-d’Or, Québec. We will work closely with Sayona to refine the plans to unify the Authier and NAL spodumene operations, and we are both committed to building integrated spodumene to lithium hydroxide capacity in Québec. Piedmont strongly believes that ‘location and regionalization of the battery supply chain matters,’ and the combined Québec operations will be well-positioned to serve the fast-growing North American electric vehicle business. The Québec operations are an ideal complement to our flagship Carolina Lithium Project in Gaston County, NC, and further Piedmont’s objective of being North America’s leading lithium hydroxide producer.”

About Piedmont Lithium
Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq:PLL; ASX:PLL) is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, the cradle of the lithium industry, positions us to be one of the world’s lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide, and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing US electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers places us on the path to be among the most sustainable producers of lithium hydroxide in the world and should allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. For more information, visit www.piedmontlithium.com.

Forward Looking Statements
This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Piedmont’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Piedmont, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Piedmont makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement. U.S. investors are urged to consider Piedmont’s disclosure in its SEC filings, copies of which may be obtained from Piedmont or from the EDGAR system on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources
The information contained herein and previously reported by North American Lithium has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of United States securities laws. The terms “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are Canadian mining terms defined in accordance with the requirements of NI 43-101. Comparable terms are now also defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in its newly adopted Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants as promogulated in its S-K 1300 standards. While the guidelines for reporting mineral resources, including subcategories of measured, indicated, and inferred resources, are largely similar for NI 43-101 and S-K 1300 standards, information contained herein that describes North American Lithium’s mineral deposits is not fully comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. Piedmont does not guaranty or verify the accuracy of any of the historical reporting of North American Lithium.

Scoping Update Highlights the Exceptional Economics and Industry-leading Sustainability of Piedmont’s Carolina Lithium Project


Piedmont Lithium Inc. (“Piedmont” or the “Company”) is pleased to report the results of the updated scoping study (“Scoping Study” or “Study”) for its proposed integrated lithium hydroxide business (“Carolina Lithium” or the “Project”) in Gaston County, North Carolina. The Study confirms that Carolina Lithium will be one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost producers of lithium hydroxide, with a sustainability footprint that is superior to incumbent producers, all in an ideal location to supply the rapidly growing electric vehicle supply chain in the United States.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

Sustainable Lithium Hydroxide Manufacturing

Piedmont Carolina Lithium is expected to have a superior sustainability profile relative to the current producers based in China and South America. Chinese lithium producers are highly reliant on coal-fired power and generally utilize a carbon-intensive sulfuric acid roasting process to convert raw materials shipped in from Australia, while South American producers tend to utilize vast tracts of land and large quantities of water, all in the driest desert in the world, the Atacama.

  • Metso Outotec process reduces emissions, eliminates sulfuric acid roasting, and reduces solid waste
  • Solar power generation, in-pit crushing, and electric conveying reduce reliance on carbon-based energy sources
  • Vastly diminished transportation distances for raw materials and finished product
  • Highly efficient land and water use compared with South American brine production
  • Far lower CO2 intensity than incumbent China hydroxide production including Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions
  • Independent preliminary Life-Cycle Analysis (“LCA”) completed with Minviro

Figure 1 – Life cycle analysis of key carbon intensity, water usage, and land footprint of Piedmont Carolina Lithium

Exceptional Economics and Scale

The Study confirms that Piedmont will be a large and low-cost producer of lithium hydroxide, benefitting from its ideal location in Gaston County, North Carolina, with exceptional infrastructure, a deep local talent pool, low-cost energy, and proximity to local markets for the monetization of by-product industrial minerals. The Study results represent a substantial improvement over prior studies despite the use of more conservative assumptions related to mining dilution and metallurgical recoveries.

The competitive advantage of Piedmont’s unique location is depicted in the following lithium hydroxide cost curve, which was prepared by Roskill, a leading lithium industry consultancy.


Figure 2 – Lithium hydroxide 2028 AISC cost curve (real basis) (Roskill)
AISC includes all direct and indirect operating costs including feedstock costs (internal AISC), refining, corporate G&A and selling expenses.

Fully Integrated Manufacturing Campus

Piedmont Carolina Lithium contemplates a single, integrated site, comprising quarrying, spodumene concentration, by-products processing, and spodumene conversion to lithium hydroxide. There are currently no such integrated sites operating anywhere in the world, and the economic and environmental advantages of this strategy are compelling:

  • Premier location in Gaston County, North Carolina – “the cradle of the lithium business”
  • Elimination of SC6 transportation costs and related noise and emissions
  • On-site solar complex to power concentrate operations and reduce reliance on diesel fueled equipment
  • Potential to co-locate other downstream battery materials / Li-ion battery manufacturing
  • Creation of up to 500 manufacturing, engineering, and management jobs
  • Site offers potential to expand hydroxide capacity by adding additional manufacturing trains in the future

Figure 3 – Indicative proposed site plan for Piedmont’s Carolina Lithium operations

“We are exceedingly pleased with the results of our updated Scoping Study. The economics of our Project continue to impress, but I am particularly proud of the Project’s sustainability profile. Customers, investors, and neighbors are increasingly focused on businesses that are “doing things the right way.” It is critical that raw material supply chains do not detract from the overall sustainability of the transition to electric vehicles. Our project will have a far lower environmental footprint than alternative suppliers, and we expect that to position Piedmont well with all stakeholders.

As we move forward to complete a Definitive Feasibility Study for Carolina Lithium later in 2021, Piedmont has engaged Evercore and JPMorgan as financial advisors to evaluate potential strategic partnering and financing options for its North Carolina Project. Given the Project’s unique position as the only American spodumene project, with world-class scale, economics, and sustainability, we expect strategic interest to be robust.

Keith D. Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer

scoping study update

Piedmont’s Carolina Lithium Scoping Study Update is based on the Company’s Mineral Resource estimate reported in April 2021, of 39.2 Mt at a grade of 1.09% Li2O and the by-product Mineral Resource estimates comprising 7.4 Mt of quartz, 11.1 Mt of feldspar and 1.1 Mt of mica reported in June 2021.

The fully integrated Study contemplates a 20-year project life, with the downstream lithium hydroxide chemical plant commencing 90 days after the start of concentrate operations. The chemical plant is assumed to achieve full capacity within 12 months. Table 1 provides a summary of production and cost figures for the integrated Project.

Table 1: Project Summary Outcomes

Unit

Estimated Value

Annual Production

Operation life

years

20

Steady state annual lithium hydroxide production

t/y

30,000

Average annual spodumene concentrate (SC6) production

t/y

248,000

Average annual quartz production

t/y

252,000

Average annual feldspar production

t/y

392,000

Average annual mica production

t/y

70,000

Life-of-Mine (“LOM”) Production

Production target

Mt

37.41

LOM SC6 production

Mt

4.96

LOM quartz production

Mt

4.83

LOM feldspar production

Mt

7.51

LOM mica production

Mt

1.34

LOM feed grade (excluding dilution)

%

1.09

LOM average concentrate grade

%

6.0

LOM average process recovery

%

80

LOM average strip ratio

waste:ore

12.2:1

Operating and Capital Costs

Average LiOH production cash costs

US$/t

$2,943

Average LiOH production all in sustaining costs

US$/t

$3,145

Direct development capital

US$MM

$639.0

Land acquisition costs

US$MM

$28.0

Other owner’s costs

US$MM

$43.8

Contingency

US$MM

$127.8

Total initial capital cost

US$MM

$838.6

Sustaining and deferred capital

US$MM

$337.9

Working capital

US$MM

$48.3

Financial Performance

Average annual steady state EBITDA

US$MM/y

$401

Average annual steady state after-tax cash flow

US$MM/y

$315

After tax Net Present Value (“NPV”) @ 8% discount rate

US$MM

$1,923

After tax Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”)

%

31%

Payback from start of operations

years

2.9

Updates from Prior Studies

Notable improvements to business outcomes have been achieved in this Study compared with the prior scoping study published in May 2020. Key updates are reflected in Table 2.

Table 2: Comparative Outcomes of 2021 and 2020 Scoping Studies

Outcomes

Unit

2021 Study

2020 Study

Project life

years

20

25

Steady-state average annual lithium hydroxide production

t/y

30,000

22,720

Steady-state average annual spodumene concentrate production

t/y

248,000

160,000

Steady-state average annual by-product production (all products)

t/y

714,000

224,000

Long term lithium hydroxide price

US$/t

$15,239

$12,910

Long term spodumene concentrate price

US$/t

$762

$564

Steady-state average cash cost of lithium hydroxide production

US$/t

$2,943

$3,712

Steady-state average cost of spodumene concentrate production

US$/t

$181

$201

Initial capital cost (including contingency)

US$MM

$838

$545

Steady-state average annual EBITDA

US$MM/y

$401

$218

After tax NPV @ 8% discount rate

US$MM

$1,923

$1,071

After tax IRR

%

31%

26%

Payback from start of operations

years

2.92

3.23

Figure 4 shows the impact of key project changes to Project NPV.


Figure 4 – Updated economic model impact to NPV8 on the Carolina Lithium Project (US$ Billion)

These improved results for the proposed operations have been achieved based on changes to the project design:

Production values have been modified

  • Run-of-mine ore production increased to 1.95Mt/y from 1.15 Mt/y
  • SC6 production increased to 248,000 t/y from 160,000 t/y
  • LiOH production increased to 30,000 t/y from 22,720 t/y
  • Quartz production increased to 252,000 t/y from 86,000 t/y
  • Feldspar production increased to 392,000 t/y from 125,000 t/y
  • Mica production increased to 70,000 t/y from 13,000 t/y

Process and infrastructure improvements

  • Metso Outotec alkaline pressure leach replaces acid roasting lithium conversion process
  • In pit crushing and conveyor systems have eliminated mining trucks
  • Solar generating capacity added to project
  • Expanded by-products capacity

Capital costs have been updated based on technology changes, project scale, and inflation impacts

Fixed infrastructure investment enhances emissions profile and reduces long-term operating costs

Product pricing has been updated to 2021 long-term forecasts for LiOH, SC6, and by-products


Environment, Sustainability, and Governance

Over the past year, the Company has taken steps to improve upon the advantages present in North Carolina. Minviro, an industry-leading practitioner of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) impacts of manufacturing battery materials was engaged by Piedmont to complete a prospective LCA of the integrated lithium hydroxide operations. Together with Minviro, Piedmont has enhanced our sustainability footprint by implementing the following initiatives in our Study update:

  • Working with a solar developer to build and operate a solar farm on Piedmont property capable of producing electricity to supply up to 100% of Piedmont needs
  • Utilizing electric equipment to the greatest extent possible including transporting ore from pit operations to the concentrator to reduce fossil fuel consumption
  • Co-locating all operations on the same proposed site in Gaston County minimizing any transit and allowing unused by-products streams to be repurposed for site redevelopment
  • Expanding the by-products operations to serve valuable markets for quartz, feldspar and mica

Minviro worked with Piedmont to identify areas for improvement in operations on a cradle-to-gate basis using the work that Piedmont completed in prior studies. Piedmont is now setting a target to produce lithium hydroxide with a carbon intensity of less than 9 kg of CO2-e/Kg of lithium hydroxide including complete Scope 1, 2 and upstream Scope 3 emissions. This target is nearly half of the carbon intensity of incumbent producers of lithium hydroxide starting with spodumene mined in Western Australia and chemically refined in China. It is on par with brine-based production routes to lithium hydroxide which require considerable quantities of reagents to be transported by ocean going vessels and supplies of fresh water in a water scarce region.

Scoping Study Consultants

This Scoping Study update combines information and assumptions provided by a range of independent consultants, including the following consultants who have contributed to key components of the Study.

Table 3: Scoping Study Consultants

Consultant

Scope of Work

Primero Group Limited

Concentrate operations and overall Study integration

Metso Outotec

Lithium hydroxide manufacturing technology package

SGS Lakefield

Metallurgical testwork

Marshall Miller and Associates

Mine design and scheduling

McGarry Geoconsulting Corp.

Mineral Resource estimation

Minviro

Life Cycle Analysis

HDR Engineering, Inc.

Permitting, environment, and social studies

Johnston, Allison, and Hord

Land title and legal

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

Lithium products marketability

John Walker

By-products marketability

Scoping Study Overview

Piedmont holds a 100% interest in the Carolina Lithium Project located within the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (“TSB”) and along trend to the Hallman Beam and Kings Mountain mines, which historically provided most of the western world’s lithium between the 1950s and the 1980s. The TSB has been described as one of the largest hard rock lithium regions in the world and is located approximately 25 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Company has reported Mineral Resource estimates (“MRE”) for the Project. Piedmont has completed 495 drill holes on these properties totaling 82,924 meters to date spanning four drill campaigns.

As of March 31, 2021, the Project comprised approximately 2,667 acres of surface property and associated mineral rights, of which approximately 988 acres are owned, approximately 113 acres are subject to long-term lease, approximately 79 acres are subject to lease-to-own agreements, and approximately 1,487 acres are subject to exclusive option agreements. These exclusive option agreements, upon exercise, allows Piedmont to purchase or, in some cases, enter into long-term lease agreements for the surface property and associated mineral rights.

Map

Description automatically generated

Figure 5 – Piedmont’s location within the TSB

Mineral Resource Estimates

On April 8, 2021 the Company announced an updated MRE prepared by independent consultant McGarry Geoconsulting Corp. (“McGarry Geo”) in accordance with JORC Code (2012 Edition). The total lithium Mineral Resources reported by Piedmont for the Carolina Lithium Project are 39.2 Mt grading at 1.09% Li2O.

Table 4: Piedmont Carolina Lithium Mineral Resources Estimate

Resource Category

Tonnes

(Mt)

Grade

(Li2O%)

Li2O

(t)

LCE

(t)

Indicated

21.6

1.12

241,000

597,000

Inferred

17.6

1.03

181,000

449,000

Total

39.2

1.09

422,000

1,046,000

On June 8, 2021 the Company announced updated MREs for by-products quartz, feldspar, and mica. The results are shown in Table 5. The by-product MRE’s have been prepared by independent consultants, McGarry Geo and are reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 Edition). The economic extraction of by-product minerals is contingent on Piedmont’s economic extraction of lithium Mineral Resources. Accordingly, the by-product Mineral Resource estimates are reported at a 0.4% Li2O cut-off grade, consistent with the reported lithium MRE.

Table 5: Mineral Resource Estimates – By-product Minerals

Category

Tonnes (Mt)

Li2O

Quartz

Feldspar

Mica

Grade
(%)

Tonnes
(t)

Grade
(%)

Tonnes (Mt)

Grade
(%)

Tonnes (Mt)

Grade
(%)

Tonnes (Mt)

Indicated

21.6

1.12

241,000

29.4

6.34

45.0

9.69

4.2

0.90

Inferred

17.6

1.03

181,000

29.3

5.16

45.9

8.08

4.1

0.73

Total

39.2

1.09

422,000

29.4

11.50

45.4

17.77

4.2

1.63


Production Target

Pit optimizations were completed by Marshall Miller in order to produce a production schedule on an annual basis. This resulted in a total production target of approximately 4.96 Mt of 6.0% Li2O spodumene concentrate (“SC6”), averaging approximately 248,000 t/y of SC6 over the 20-year mine life. This equates to an average of 1.95 Mt/y of ore processed, totaling approximately 37.4 Mt of run-of-mine (“ROM”) ore at an average ROM grade of 1.09% Li2O (undiluted) over the 20-year mine life.

The Study assumes concentrate operations and chemical plant operations production life of 20 years, commencing in year 1 of the Project. It is assumed that concentrate operations including by-products will commence about 90 days in advance of chemical plant start-up to build initial SC6 inventory. SC6 produced in excess of chemical plant requirements are assumed to be sold to third parties during the life of the Project. Of the total production target of 4.96 Mt of SC6, approximately 1.19 Mt will be sold to third parties during the operational life and approximately 3.77 Mt will be supplied to Piedmont’s chemical plant operations for conversion into lithium hydroxide, resulting in a total production target of approximately 582,000 t of lithium hydroxide, averaging approximately 29,095 t/y of lithium hydroxide over the 20-year production life.

Of the 582,000 t lithium hydroxide production target 567,000 t are expected to be sold as battery-grade quality lithium hydroxide with 15,000 t sold as technical-grade quality based on the estimated ramp-up of the lithium chemical plant.

The Study assumes production targets of 4.83 Mt of quartz concentrate, 7.51 Mt of feldspar concentrate, and 1.34 Mt of mica concentrate over the life of operations based on the potential recovery of these products from the concentrator flotation circuits and the Company’s analysis of domestic industrial minerals markets and engagement with prospective customers.

There remains significant opportunity to increase the operational life of Carolina Lithium beyond 20 years by discovery of additional resources within the TSB within a reasonable trucking or conveying distance to the proposed concentrator.


Mining

Independent consultants Marshall Miller and Associates used SimSched™ software to generate a series of economic pit shells using the updated Mineral Resource block model and input parameters as agreed by Piedmont. Overall slope angles in rock were estimated following a preliminary geotechnical analysis that utilized fracture orientation data from oriented core and downhole geophysics (Acoustic Televiewer), as well as laboratory analysis of intact rock strength. The preliminary geotechnical assessment involved both kinematic and overall slope analyses utilizing Rocscience™ modeling software.

Overall slope angles of 45 degrees were assumed for overburden and oxide material. Overall slope angles of 53 degrees were estimated for fresh material which includes a ramp width of 30 meters. Production schedules were prepared for the Project based on the following parameters:

  • A targeted run-of-mine production of 1.95 Mt/y targeting concentrator output of about 248,000 t/y of SC6
  • Mining dilution of 10%
  • Mine recovery of 100%
  • Concentrator processing recovery of 80%
  • Mine sequence targets maximized utilization of Indicated Mineral Resources at the front end of the schedule

The results reported are based upon a scenario which maximizes extraction of Indicated Resources in the early years of production. Indicated resources represent 100% of the tonnes processed in years 1-3 of operations. The results reported assume that the Core property is mined from year 1-17 with the Central property mined in years 17-19 and the Huffstetler property mined in years 19-20. Table 6 shows the production target.

Table 6: Total Production Target for Piedmont Properties

Property

ROM Tonnes Processed

(kt)

Waste Tonnes Mined

(kt)

Stripping Ratio

(W:O t:t)

ROM Li2O Diluted Grade

(% )

Production Years

Tonnes of SC6

(kt)

Core

30,593

378,603

12.4

0.99

1-17

4,050

Central

4,251

49,467

11.6

1.12

17-19

632

Huffstetler

2,564

28,511

11.1

0.81

19-20

278

Total

37,408

456,581

12.2

0.99

1-20

4,960


Concentrate Metallurgy

Piedmont engaged SGS Canada Inc. in Lakefield, Ontario to undertake testwork on variability and composite samples. Dense Medium Separation (“DMS”) and locked-cycle flotation tests produced high-quality spodumene concentrate with a grade above 6.0% Li2O, iron oxide below 1.0%, and low impurities from composite samples. Table 7 shows the results of composite tests on the preferred flowsheet which were previously announced on July 17, 2019. The feed grade of the composite sample was 1.11% Li2O.

This Study assumes a spodumene recovery of 80% when targeting a 6.0% Li2O spodumene concentrate product. The Company is currently undertaking additional variability sample testing concurrent with ongoing Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) activities.

Table 7: Dense Medium Separation and Locked Cycle Flotation Test Concentrate Assays

Sample

Li2O

(%)

Fe2O3

(%)

Na2O

(%)

K2O

(%)

CaO+ MgO + 
MnO (%)

P2O5

(%)

Dense medium separation

6.42

0.97

0.56

0.45

0.51

0.12

Locked-cycle flotation

6.31

0.90

0.68

0.52

1.25

0.46

Combined concentrate

6.35

0.93

0.63

0.49

0.96

0.32


By-Product Metallurgy

The production of bulk quartz and feldspar concentrates as by-products from the spodumene locked-cycle flotation tailings was investigated. Six individual batch tests were conducted with the quartz and feldspar concentrates being composited. The results of these tests are provided in Table 8 (results previously announced May 13, 2020). Additional by-product testwork in conjunction with DFS is ongoing.

Table 8: Composite Locked Cycle By-product Assays (from Spodumene Tailings)

Li2O

SiO2

Al2O3

K2O

Na2O

CaO

MgO

MnO

P2O5

Fe2O3

Quartz concentrate

0.02

99.0

0.32

0.04

0.11

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

Feldspar concentrate

0.12

68.0

19.35

2.45

9.30

0.17

0.04

0.01

0.15

0.05

Piedmont engaged North Carolina State University’s Minerals Research Laboratory in 2018 to conduct bench-scale testwork on samples obtained from the Company’s MRE within the Core Property for by-products quartz, feldspar, and mica. The objective of the testwork program was to develop optimized conditions for spodumene flotation and magnetic separation for both grade and recovery. Summary mica concentrate data are shown in Table 9. Complete mica data were previously announced on September 4, 2018. Further mica product optimization is in progress in conjunction with the DFS.

Table 9: Bench Scale Mica Physical Properties Results

Parameter

Unit

Optimized Value

Particle Size

Medium to Very Fine

40 – 635 Mesh

Bulk Density

g/cm3

0.681 – 0.682

Grit

%

0.70 – 0.79

Photovoltmeter

Green Reflectance

11.2 – 11.6

Hunter Value

± a [Redness(+) Greenness(-)]

0.27 – 1.25

Hunter Value

± b [Yellowness(+) Blueness(-)]

44.77 – 46.07

Mica quality is measured by its physical properties including bulk density, grit, color/brightness, and particle size. The bulk density of mica by-product generated from Piedmont composite samples was in the range of 0.680 – 0.682 g/cm3.

The National Gypsum Grit test is used mostly for minus 100 mesh mica which issued as joint cement compound and textured mica paint. Piedmont sample grit results were in the range of 0.70 – 0.79%, well below the typical specification for total grit in mica of 1.0%. Color/brightness is usually determined on minus 100 mesh material. Several instruments are used for this determination including the Hunter meter, Technedyne and the Photovoltmeter. The green reflectance is often reported for micas and talcs. Piedmont Green Reflectance results were in the range of 11.2 – 11.6.


Process Design

The concentrator process design is based on prior SGS testwork. Flowsheet optimization is ongoing with a variability testwork program at SGS in conjunction with the Company’s definitive feasibility study. Lithium hydroxide manufacturing process design is based on Metso Outotec experience. A pilot-scale testwork program is currently underway to confirm process design as part of the Company’s ongoing definitive feasibility study.

The simplified process flow diagram for the Project is shown in Figure 6.


Figure 6 – Proposed Carolina Lithium Project block flow diagram

Site Plan

A preliminary integrated site plan including mining operations, concentrate operations, lithium hydroxide manufacturing, overburden and waste rock disposal, by-product manufacturing and ancillary facilities was developed by Marshall Miller and Primero Group during the course of study. Figure 7 shows the indicative site plan for the proposed integrated manufacturing campus.

Map

Description automatically generated


Figure 7 – Proposed integrated manufacturing campus site plan


Infrastructure

Piedmont enjoys a superior infrastructure position relative to most lithium projects globally. The proposed site is approximately 25 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina. The site is directly accessible by multiple state highways, CSX railroad, and is in close proximity to U.S. Highway 321 and U.S. Interstate I-85.

Piedmont’s proposed Carolina Lithium operations are in proximity to four (4) major US ports:

  • Charleston, SC – 197 miles
  • Wilmington, NC – 208 miles
  • Savannah, GA – 226 miles
  • Norfolk, VA – 296 miles

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is 20 miles from the proposed operations. Charlotte-Douglas is the 6th largest airport in the United States and has direct international routes to Canada, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe.

Temporary or permanent camp facilities will not be required as part of the Project. Furthermore, Livent Corporation and Albemarle Corporation operate lithium chemical plants in close proximity to the proposed Piedmont operations, and the local region is well serviced by fabrication, maintenance, and technical service contractors experienced in the sector.

Logistics

Most spodumene concentrate produced by Piedmont will be consumed by the Piedmont Carolina Lithium chemical plant. For internal transportation costs within the integrated campus a US$2.00/t cost is included in the financial model for the internal site transport between the concentrate operations and chemical plant.


Permitting


HDR Engineering has been retained by Piedmont to support permitting activities on the proposed Project.

In November 2019, the Company received a Clean Water Act Section 404 Standard Individual Permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers for the concentrate operations. This is the only federal permit required for the concentrate operations. The Company has also received a Section 401 Individual Water Quality Certification from the North Carolina Division of Water Resources.

The concentrate operations require a North Carolina State Mining Permit from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (“NCDEQ”) Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources. A permit application is well advanced and will be submitted to North Carolina following additional pre-application consultation over the coming months.

Piedmont previously received a Clean Air Act Title V synthetic minor permit from the NCDEQ Division of Air Quality for a proposed lithium hydroxide operation in Kings Mountain. Piedmont will apply for a new Title V synthetic minor air permit for the proposed Gaston County chemical plant location in the coming months.

The overall proposed integrated Project remains subject to conditional district rezoning within Gaston County. A rezoning application will proceed following additional pre-application consultation with Gaston County and community leaders following publication of the Study results.

Marketing

Lithium Market Outlook

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (“Benchmark”) reports that total battery demand will grow to 312 GWh in 2021 translating to 297kt of LCE demand in 2021, a growth of 41% over 2020 demand. Benchmark forecasts total demand in 2021 to be 430kt on an LCE basis.

Benchmark further expects the market to remain in a structural deficit for the foreseeable future as demand gets a head-start on supply. In the near impossible scenario that all projects come online on time as planned and without any issues, the first surplus will not occur until 2025. Benchmark believes that in this extreme case, a surplus could only be expected to last a few years before demand forces the market into a large deficit without further new projects yet undiscovered or developed.

Figure 8 –Lithium hydroxide supply demand forecast

This Study assumes battery-grade lithium hydroxide and SC6 prices which reflect the median of consensus estimates from Benchmark Minerals, Roskill, Canaccord, Evercore, JPMorgan and Macquarie for the 2022-2026 period with fixed long-term pricing of $15,239/t for lithium hydroxide and $762/t for spodumene concentrate from 2027 onwards.

Figure 9 –Battery Grade (“BG”) lithium hydroxide pricing

Market Strategy

Piedmont is focused on establishing strategic partnerships with customers for battery grade lithium hydroxide with an emphasis on a customer base which is focused on EV demand growth in North America and Europe. Piedmont will concentrate this effort on these growing EV supply chains, particularly in light of the growing commitments of battery manufacturing by groups such as Ford, General Motors, LGES, Northvolt, SK Innovation, Volkswagen and others. Advanced discussions with prospective customers are ongoing.

By-Product Marketing


Piedmont proposes to produce quartz, feldspar and mica as by-products of spodumene concentrate operations. The Company engaged John Walker, an independent consultant, and Pronto Minerals, a joint venture between the Company and Ion Carbon & Materials, to assist the Company in estimating market opportunities for its by-products as shown in Table 10 below.

Table 10: Market Forecasts and Basket Pricing for By-Products (US$/t)

Quartz (t/y)

Feldspar (t/y)

Mica(t/y)

Average Realized Price ($/t) Mine Gate

252,000

392,000

69,700

$79.50

Operating Cost Estimate

Spodumene Concentrate Operating Cost Estimate

The SC6 operating cost estimate was prepared based on operating at approximately 1.95 million t/y run-of-mine ore producing an average of 248,000 t/y of SC6. Table 11 summarizes the estimated operating costs at steady-state. Costs are presented on an FOB chemical plant basis. Calcium carbonate and aluminosilicate by-products from lithium hydroxide manufacturing are assumed to have zero credit value.

Table 11: Concentrate Operations Cash Operating Cost Summary

SC6 Production Costs

Total Average Annual Cost (US$MM/y)

Cost US$/t SC6

Mining

$55.8

$227

SC6 processing

$26.7

$109

By-product processing

$8.5

$34

Royalties

$1.9

$8

Subtotal

$92.9

$378

By-product credit

($48.6)

($197)

Total cash operating cost

$44.3

$181

Lithium Hydroxide Operating Cost Estimate

The operating cost estimate was prepared based on producing 30,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide monohydrate. Table 12 summarizes the estimated average operating costs over life-of-mine.

Table 12: Chemical Plant Cash Operating Cost Summary

Operating Cost Component

Total Average Annual Cost (US$MM/y)

Cost US$/t LiOH

Salaries

$9.3

$317

Reagents

$19.0

$656

Consumables

$1.0

$35

Utilities

$7.4

$254

Maintenance

$3.5

$122

Water and wastewater treatment

$1.0

$33

Chemical plant overheads

$1.8

$61

Subtotal conversion costs

$43.0

$1,478

SC6 supply costs (cash cost basis)

$34.2

$1,176

Corporate G&A

$8.0

$289

Total cash operating costs

$85.2

$2,943

The operating cost estimate is based on 2021 U.S. dollars with no escalation. Target accuracy of the operating cost estimate is ± 35%. Operating costs are based on steady-state production. The average operating costs include the commissioning and ramp-up phases of both concentrate operations and chemical plant operations. Third party SC6 sales are not included in the by-product credits.


Figure 10 – Lithium hydroxide production average life-of-mine cash operating cost


Capital Cost Estimate

Table 13 highlights the total estimated capital expenditures for the Project. A 20% contingency has been carried on costs in the economic modelling of the Project except where contracted values, such as land expenses, have been defined.

Table 13: Estimated Capital Costs

Cost Center

Life-of-mine total (US$ million)

Mine establishment and infrastructure direct costs

$67.0

In-pit crushing and conveyors

$52.1

Spodumene concentrator

$115.2

By-products plant

$39.0

Chemical plant

$277.3

Project indirects

$88.4

Total

$639.0

Land acquisition

$28.0

Other owner’s costs

$43.8

Total Initial Capital (Excluding Contingency)

$710.8

Contingency

$127.8

Total Development Capital

$838.6

Deferred and sustaining capital

$337.9

Working capital

$48.3

Figure 11 illustrates the change in capital costs from May 2020 to June 2021 including capital costs attributable to increased production rate, scope changes including adaptation of in-pit crushing and conveyor systems to improve operating costs and reduce environmental impacts, and inflationary impacts.


Figure 11 – Change in estimated project capital cost due to project scale, ESG initiatives, and inflation adjustment

Project Schedule

A preliminary schedule was prepared as part of the Study. At a scoping level of project detail, schedule development is limited to high level activities including feasibility study, detailed engineering, procurement of long lead items, critical contract formation and award, construction, and pre-operational testing activities. Key milestones are presented in Table 14. An updated schedule will be developed as part of the ongoing DFS.

Table 14: Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project Milestone Schedule – Lithium Hydroxide Operations

Milestone Description

Milestone Date

Complete integrated DFS

September 2021

Financial investment decision

December 2021

Start detailed design engineering

January 2022

Commence long lead equipment awards

January 2022

Start construction

April 2022

Pre-operational testing start

July 2023

Mechanical completion

October 2023

Pre-operational testing completion

November 2023

Commissioning start

December 2023


Royalties, Taxes, Depreciation, and Depletion

The Scoping Study project economics include the following key parameters related to royalties, tax, depreciation, and depletion allowances.

  • Royalties of US$1.00 per ROM tonne based on the average land option agreement
  • North Carolina state corporate taxes are 2.5%
  • Federal tax rate of 21% is applied and state corporate taxes are deductible from this rate
  • Effective base tax rate of 22.975%
  • Depletion allowance of 22% is applied to the spodumene concentrate sales price
  • Depletion allowances for quartz, feldspar, and mica concentrates are assumed as 15%
  • Depreciation in the concentrate operations is based on Asset Class 10.0 – Mining in IRS Table B-1 using the general depreciation system (“GDS”) over 7 years with the double declining balance method
  • Depreciation in the chemical plant is based on Asset Class 28.0 – Mfg. of Chemical and Allied Products in Table B-1 using GDS of 5 years with the double declining balance method
  • Bonus depreciation of 80% has been applied based on the bonus depreciation allowance in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act assuming a place in service date of the concentrate operations and chemical plant by December 31, 2023


Scoping Study Economics

Modeling Assumptions

  • A detailed project economical model was completed by the Company as part of the Study.
  • Capital and operating costs are in accordance with technical study outcomes
  • Chemical plant ramp-up is based on a 12-month time frame to nameplate production
  • Financial modeling has been completed on a monthly basis, including estimated cash flow for construction activities and project ramp-up.
  • Pricing information for battery-grade lithium hydroxide sales and spodumene concentrate supply are based on long-term forecasts using a basket of long-term forecasts provided by Benchmark, Roskill Canaccord, Evercore, JPMorgan and Macquarie
  • Royalties, tax, depreciation, and depletion allowances according to stated assumptions

Financial Modelling

A comprehensive economic model has been prepared which fully integrates the Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project including concentrate and chemical operations. The Study assumes a chemical plant production life of 20 years commencing 3 months after the start of mining operations. The mining production target is approximately 37.4 Mt at an average run of mine grade of 1.09% Li2O (undiluted) over a 20-year mine life. The overall project life is 20 years.

The current economic model is based on a monthly projection of capital costs and assumes that the full capital cost is spent across 21 months prior to commissioning of the concentrate operations and across 24 months prior to the commissioning of the chemical plant. Concentrate operations are assumed to ramp to full production over a one-year period and the chemical plant is also assumed to ramp to full production over a one-year period.

Payback Period

Payback periods for the Project constructed in a single phase is 2.9 years after the start of chemical plant operations or 4.9 years from the start of construction. Payback period is calculated on the basis of after-tax free cash flow.

Sensitivity Analyses

The concentrate operations and chemical plant components of the Study have been designed to a Scoping level of detail with an intended accuracy of ± 35%. Key inputs into the Study have been tested by pricing, capital cost, and operating cost sensitivities (Figure 12 and Figure 13).

Figure 12 – Net present value sensitivity analysis for the Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project

Figure 13 – Internal rate of return sensitivity analysis for the Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project

Conclusions and Next Steps

The Study results demonstrate the potential for Piedmont to become a major North American lithium hydroxide producer on a fully integrated spodumene mine to lithium hydroxide chemical plant basis. The Company will now concentrate on the following initiatives to drive the Project forward:

  • Finalize the pilot scale lithium hydroxide conversion testwork currently underway with Metso Outotec
  • Conclude a definitive feasibility study of the Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project in 2021
  • Continue to build out the Company’s leadership team consistent with the efforts in 2021 to date
  • Engage in further pre-application consultation with Gaston County and the State of North Carolina in advance of submittal of rezoning and mine permit applications
  • Submit a new air permit application for the proposed 30,000 t/y Gaston County chemical plant
  • Evaluate strategic partnering options in partnership with Evercore and JP Morgan

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Piedmont’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Piedmont, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Piedmont makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources

The information contained herein has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Australia, which differ from the requirements of United States securities laws. The terms “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are Australian mining terms defined in accordance with the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the “JORC Code”). Comparable terms are now also defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in its newly adopted Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants as promogulated in its S-K 1300 standards.  While the guidelines for reporting mineral resources, including subcategories of measured, indicated, and inferred resources, are largely similar for JORC and S-K 1300 standards, documentation is ongoing with respect to the S-K 1300 Technical Report Summary template to formally categorize Piedmont’s mineral holdings as both JORC and S-K 1300 compatible.  While the competent persons responsible for this announcement do not foresee any challenges in categorizing the resources delineated in this announcement as S-K 1300 compliant, information contained herein that describes Piedmont’s mineral deposits is not fully comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. U.S. investors are urged to consider Piedmont’s disclosure in its SEC filings, copies of which may be obtained from Piedmont or from the EDGAR system on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/.

Competent Persons Statements

The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled or reviewed by Mr. Lamont Leatherman, a Competent Person who is a Registered Member of the ‘Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration’, a ‘Recognized Professional Organization’ (RPO). Mr. Leatherman is an employee of the Company. Mr. Leatherman has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr. Leatherman consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

The information in this announcement that relates to lithium Mineral Resources is extracted from our announcement entitled “Piedmont Increases Lithium Resources by 40%” dated April 8, 2021. The information in this announcement that relates to by-product Mineral Resources is extracted from our announcement entitled “Piedmont Focused on Increased Sustainability with 40% Increase in Quartz, Feldspar, and Mica Mineral Resources” dated June 8, 2021. Both announcements are available to view on the Company website at www.piedmontlithium.com. Piedmont confirms that: a) it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original announcements; b) all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the Mineral Resources in the original announcements continue to apply and have not materially changed; and c) the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented in this announcement have not been materially modified from the original announcements.

The information in this announcement that relates to Metallurgical Testwork Results is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled or reviewed by Dr. Jarrett Quinn, a Competent Person who is a Registered Member of Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec’, a ‘Recognized Professional Organization’ (RPO). Dr. Quinn is consultant to Primero Group. Dr. Quinn has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Dr. Quinn consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on information in the form and context in which it appears.

The information in this announcement that relates to Process Design, Capital Costs, and Operating Costs is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled or reviewed by Mr. Alexandre Roy, a Competent Person who is a Registered Member of ‘Ordres des Ingenieurs du Quebec’, a ‘Recognized Professional Organization’ (RPO). Mr. Roy is a full time employee of Primero Group. Mr. Roy has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr. Roy consents to the inclusion in this report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

The information in this announcement that relates to Mining Engineering and Mining Schedule is based on information compiled by Mr. Chris Scott and reviewed by Dr. Steven Keim, both of whom are employees of Marshall Miller and Associates (MM&A). Dr. Keim takes overall responsibility as Competent Person for the portions of the work completed by MM&A. Dr. Steven Keim is a Competent Person who is a Registered Member of the ‘Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Society’, a ‘Recognized Professional Organization’ (RPO). Dr. Keim has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineral extraction under consideration, and to the activity he is undertaking, to qualify as Competent Person in terms of the JORC Code (2012 Edition). Dr. Keim has reviewed this document and consents to the inclusion in this report of the matters based on his information in the form and context within which it appears.

This announcement has been authorized for release by the Company’s CEO, Mr. Keith Phillips.



Piedmont Focused on Increased Sustainability with 40% Increase in Quartz, Feldspar, and Mica Mineral Resources

PIEDMONT FOCUSED ON INCREASED SUSTAINABILITY WITH 40% INCREASE IN QUARTZ, FELDSPAR, AND MICA MINERAL RESOURCES

  • Mineral Resource estimates have increased by 40% for quartz (11.5Mt), feldspar (17.8Mt), and mica (1.6Mt)
  • Piedmont has added John Walker, former CEO of The Quartz Corp, as a strategic advisor to the Company
  • Market analysis indicates far greater potential demand for Piedmont industrial mineral products than prior Company estimates
  • The Company is advanced in discussions with prospective regional customers and strategic partners in the solar glass, engineered quartz, ceramic tile, and other industrial minerals markets
  • Expanded quartz, feldspar, and mica production will feature in the Company’s upcoming technical studies

Piedmont Lithium Inc. (“Piedmont” or “Company”) is pleased to announce an updated Mineral Resource estimate for industrial mineral products quartz, feldspar, and mica. The estimate is based on the lithium Mineral Resource previously reported on April 8, 2021 (39.2Mt @ 1.09 Li2O%) for spodumene bearing pegmatites at the Company’s flagship Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project (“Project”) in North Carolina, USA.

Table 1: Mineral Resource Estimates for Industrial Minerals – Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project
Category Tonnes (Mt) Quartz Feldspar Mica
Grade
(%)
Tonnes

(Mt)

Grade
(%)
Tonnes

(Mt)

Grade
(%)
Tonnes

(Mt)

Indicated 21.6 29.4 6.34 45.0 9.69 4.2 0.90
Inferred 17.6 29.3 5.16 45.9 8.08 4.1 0.73
Total 39.2 29.4 11.50 45.4 17.77 4.2 1.63

To help advance the marketing of these mineral products, John Walker joined the Piedmont team last fall as a Strategic Consultant. John has extensive experience in the quartz and feldspar markets having worked with Imerys for more than twenty years and spending another eight years with The Quartz Corp as CEO. John has provided invaluable input on market dynamics, desired product quality and other customer criteria, allowing Piedmont to develop a robust business model for marketing these materials.

Keith D. Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Piedmont continues to find increased value in our industrial mineral products quartz, feldspar, and mica. Our location in close proximity to potential customers helps advance our goal of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable lithium manufacturing businesses. Placing more of our valuable resources into the market creates circular economy opportunities through waste reduction while providing substantial credits towards our cost of lithium hydroxide production. Our upcoming technical studies are expected to demonstrate both the environmental and economic benefits that our team is creating through their ongoing efforts to make beneficial use of every part of our ore body.”

For further information, contact:

Keith Phillips Brian Risinger

President & CEO VP – Corporate Communications

T: +1 973 809 0505 T: +1 704 910 9688

E: kphillips@piedmontlithium.com E: brisinger@piedmontlithium.com

Technical Discussion

The quartz, feldspar, and mica Mineral Resource estimates (“MRE”), reported in Table 1, include an update for the Core property and an initial Mineral Resource estimate for the Central and Huffstetler properties. The details of the three MREs are summarized in Table 2. The mineral percentages for the MRE were derived from a normative mineralogical calculation using XRF major oxide analysis for spodumene bearing pegmatites within the current lithium Mineral Resource. Mineralogical results are similar for each of the Piedmont Carolina Lithium properties which illustrates the mineralogical consistency of the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (“TSB”).

Table 2: Piedmont Carolina Lithium By-Product Quartz, Feldspar, and Mica Mineral Resources Estimates
Category Deposit Tonnes (Mt) Li2O Quartz Feldspar Mica
Grade
(%)
Tonnes (Mt) Grade
(%)
Tonnes (Mt) Grade
(%)
Tonnes (Mt) Grade
(%)
Tonnes (Mt)
Indicated Core 19.08 1.10 0.210 29.52 5.63 45.00 8.58 4.30 0.82
Central 2.47 1.30 0.030 28.79 0.71 45.16 1.12 3.24 0.08
Huffstetler
Total 21.55 1.12 0.241 29.42 6.34 44.97 9.69 4.18 0.90
Inferred Core 12.61 1.03 0.130 29.27 3.69 45.80 5.78 4.28 0.54
Central 2.69 1.10 0.030 29.99 0.81 43.88 1.18 4.08 0.11
Huffstetler 2.31 0.91 0.021 28.82 0.67 48.60 1.12 3.24 0.08
Total 17.61 1.03 0.181 29.31 5.16 45.90 8.08 4.12 0.73
MRE Total 39.16 1.09 0.422 29.37 11.50 45.38 17.77 4.16 1.63

Central and Huffstetler properties are within one mile of the Core property along the trend of the TSB (Figure 1). Infill drilling continues on the Core property. These results will be used to update lithium and by-product Mineral Resources prior to completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study currently scheduled for September 2021.

Map

Description automatically generated

Figure 1 – Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project Mineral Resource location map

showing updated MRE and resource constraining shells

Summary of Resource Estimate and Reporting Criteria

The resource has been prepared in compliance with JORC Code 2012 Edition and the ASX Listing Rules. The Company has included in Annexure A, the Table Checklist of Assessment and Reporting Criteria for the Piedmont Carolina Lithium Project as prescribed by the JORC Code 2012 Edition and the ASX Listing Rules.

The following is a summary of the pertinent information used in the MRE with the full details provided in Table 1 included as Appendix 1: JORC Table 1.

Geology and Geological Interpretation

Regionally, the Carolina Tin-Spodumene belt extends for 40 kilometers along the litho tectonic boundary between the Inner Piedmont and Kings Mountain belts. The mineralized pegmatites are thought to be concurrent and cross-cutting dike swarms extending from the Cherryville granite, as the dikes progressed further from their sources, they became increasingly enriched in incompatible elements such as lithium (Li) and tin (Sn). The dikes are considered to be unzoned.

On the property scale, spodumene pegmatites are hosted in a fine to medium grained, weakly to moderately foliated amphibolites and metasediments. The spodumene pegmatites range from fine grained (aplite) to very coarse-grained pegmatite with primary mineralogy consisting of spodumene, quartz, plagioclase, potassium-feldspar and muscovite.

Primary mineralogy and compositional averages for the modelled resource pegmatites are summarized in Table 2.

Table 3: Mineralogy and Compositional Averages for the Modelled Resource Pegmatites
Mineral Compositional Average (%)
Core Central Huffstetler
Spodumene 13.6 16.7 11.8
Quartz 29.4 29.4 28.8
Albite (felsdpar) 35.7 35.6 36.4
K-spar (feldspar) 9.7 8.9 12.2
Muscovite (mica) 4.3 3.7 3.2
Biotite 1.9 1.6 3.4
Residual 5.5 4.1 4.1

Drilling and Sampling Techniques

These resources are an update to the initial by-product Mineral Resource estimates reported in August 2019 in which the resource was informed by 327 drillholes at the Core property. The current resource estimate is now informed by a total of 465 drillholes. Table 4 shows the allocation of drillholes per property.

Table 4: Drill Hole Summary for the Mineral Resource Estimate Update
Property Drill Type Number of

Holes

Number of

Holes with XRF data

Core Diamond and Rotary Sonic Core 415 303
Central Diamond Core 36 22
Huffstetler Diamond Core 14 14

All diamond drill holes were collared with HQ and were transitioned to NQ once non-weathered and unoxidized bedrock was encountered. Drill core was recovered from surface.

Oriented core was collected on select drill holes using the REFLEX ACT III tool by a qualified geologist at the drill rig. This data was highly beneficial in the interpretation of the pegmatite dikes.

The drill spacing is approximately 40 to 80 meters along strike and down dip. This spacing is sufficient to establish continuity in geology and grade for this pegmatite system.

Drill collars were located with the differential global positioning system (DGPS) with the Trimble Geo 7 unit which resulted in accuracies <1 meter. All coordinates were collected in State Plane and re-projected to Nad83 zone17 in which they are reported.

Down hole surveying was performed on each hole using a REFLEX EZ-Trac multi-shot instrument. Readings were taken approx. every 15 meters (50 feet) and recorded depth, azimuth, and inclination. All holes were geologically and geotechnically logged. All holes were photographed prior to sampling. Sampled zones were subsequently photographed a second time after the samples had been marked.

The core was cut in half with a diamond saw with one half submitted as the sample and the other half retained for reference. Standard sample intervals were a minimum of 0.35 m and a maximum of 1.5 m for HQ or NQ drill core, taking into account lithological boundaries (i.e. sample to, and not across, major contacts). A CRM or coarse blank was included at the rate of one for every 20 drill core samples (i.e. 5%). Sampling precision is monitored by selecting a sample interval likely to be mineralized and splitting the sample into two ¼ core duplicate samples over the same sample interval. These samples are consecutively numbered after the primary sample and recorded in the sample database as “field duplicates” and the primary sample number recorded. Field duplicates were collected at the rate of 1 in 20 samples when sampling mineralized drill core intervals.

Sample Analysis Method


Normative mineralogy was calculated from total fusion X-ray fluorescence (XRF) major element data using a least squares method (MINSQ – Herrmann, W. and Berry, R.F., 2002, Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, volume 2, pp. 361-368). The normative calculations were validated against and corrected where necessary using X-ray diffraction (XRD) Rietveld semi-quantitative mineralogical data from 38 sample pulps selected to represent a range of chemical compositions and mineralogy, as well as 3 QEMSCAN analyses of composite samples prepared for metallurgical test work.

Resource Estimation Methodology

Lithological and structural features were defined based upon geological knowledge of the deposit derived from drill core logs and geological observations on surface. Models of pegmatite dikes, weathering profiles and bulk densities generated for the previously released Mineral Resource Update Study announced on April 8, 2021 were used for this study.

Rotated block models were constructed in Micromine® that encompass all modelled dikes using parent cell sizes of 6 m (E) by 12 to 18 m (N) by 6 to 18m (Z). The drill hole files were flagged by the pegmatite and weathering domains they intersected. Statistical analysis of the domained data was undertaken in SuperVisor®. Samples were regularized to 1 meter composite lengths. Regularized weight percent mineral grades within the pegmatite model were analyzed to confirm the suitability of the Ordinary Kriging method also used for the previously released Global Mineral Resource estimate study announced on April 8, 2021. For each modelled pegmatite, regularized compositional grades for spodumene, quartz, albite, K-spar and muscovite were interpolated into the corresponding pegmatite block model along with grades for biotite and other gangue minerals. Albite and K-spar grade estimates are summed to generate a compositional grade estimate for feldspar by-product.

Block grade interpolation was validated by means of swath plots, comparison of sample and block model mineral grade averages and correlation coefficients, and by overlapping mineral grade distribution charts for sample and block model data. Cross sections of the block model with drill hole data superimposed were also reviewed.

Classification Criteria

Resource classification parameters are based on the validity and robustness of input data and the estimator’s judgment with respect to the proximity of resource blocks to sample locations and confidence with respect to the geological continuity of the pegmatite interpretations and grade estimates.

All blocks captured in pegmatite dike interpretation wireframes below the topography surface are classified as Inferred. Indicated classification boundaries define regions of blocks that, overall, meet the following criteria: Within major pegmatite dikes that are informed by at least two drill holes within a range of approximately 25 meters to the nearest drill hole in the along strike and down dip directions.

No Measured category resources are estimated.

Cut-Off Grade, Mining and Metallurgical Methods and Parameters

The economic extraction of by-product minerals is contingent on the economic extraction of lithium mineral resources at the Project. Accordingly, the by-product Mineral Resource Estimate is reported at a 0.4% Li2O cut-off grade, in line with lithium cut off grades utilized at comparable deposits.

Compositional grade and tonnage estimates for by-product mineral resources are presented in Table 3.

The depth, geometry, and grade of pegmatites at the property make them amenable to exploitation by open cut mining methods The Core resource model is constrained by a conceptual pit shell derived from a Whittle optimization using estimated block value and mining parameters appropriate for determining reasonable prospects of economic extraction. These include: maximum pit slope of 50° and strip ratio of 12, mining cost of US$2.25/t, spodumene concentration cost of US$25/t, a processing cost of US$2,616/t LiOH, a commodity price equivalent to US$12,910/t LiOH and with appropriate recovery and dilution factors. Material falling outside of this shell is considered to not meet reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction.

Conceptual shells for Central and Huffstetler resource models, developed using the above parameters, extended to the base of the resource models and beyond the modeled strike extent of the resource model where the deposits are open. Accordingly, the entire Central and Huffstetler resource models are considered to have reasonable prospects of eventual economic extraction.

Reasonable prospects for metallurgical recovery of spodumene and by-product minerals are supported by the results of the variability and composite sample test work undertaken at SGS laboratories in Lakefield, Ontario and previously announced on May 13, 2020. Bulk samples of the quartz, feldspar and mica co-products from the Project have been evaluated for attributes such as product size distribution, chemical composition, purity, and color. Test work results demonstrate that by-products have specifications that are marketable to prospective regional customers and strategic partners in the solar glass, engineered quartz, ceramic tile, and other industrial minerals markets.

Future Exploration

Currently, Piedmont has five drill rigs conducting infill and exploration drilling at the Core Property. Piedmont may conduct additional drilling on the Huffstetler and Central properties in 2021. The results and the MRE’s reported in this press release will underpin the Scoping Study update targeted for May 2021. A subsequent resource update is scheduled upon completion of the infill drilling, these will inform the Definitive Feasibility Study scheduled for September 2021.

About Piedmont Lithium


Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq:PLL; ASX:PLL) is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, the cradle of the lithium industry, positions us to be one of the world’s lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide, and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing US electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers places us on the path to be among the most sustainable producers of lithium hydroxide in the world and should allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. For more information, visit www.piedmontlithium.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Piedmont’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Piedmont, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Piedmont makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources

The information contained herein has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Australia, which differ from the requirements of United States securities laws. The terms “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are Australian mining terms defined in accordance with the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the “JORC Code”). Comparable terms are now also defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in its newly adopted Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants as promogulated in its S-K 1300 standards.  While the guidelines for reporting mineral resources, including subcategories of measured, indicated, and inferred resources, are largely similar for JORC and S-K 1300 standards, documentation is ongoing with respect to the S-K 1300 Technical Report Summary template to formally categorize Piedmont’s mineral holdings as both JORC and S-K 1300 compatible.  While the competent persons responsible for this announcement do not foresee any challenges in categorizing the resources delineated in this announcement as S-K 1300 compliant, information contained herein that describes Piedmont’s mineral deposits is not fully comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. U.S. investors are urged to consider Piedmont’s disclosure in its SEC filings, copies of which may be obtained from Piedmont or from the EDGAR system on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/.

Competent Persons Statement

The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled or reviewed by Mr. Lamont Leatherman, a Competent Person who is a Registered Member of the ‘Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration’, a ‘Recognized Professional Organization’ (RPO). Mr. Leatherman is an employee of the Company. Mr. Leatherman has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr. Leatherman consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

The information in this report that relates to Exploration Targets and Mineral Resources is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled or reviewed by Mr. Leon McGarry, a Competent Person who is a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) and registered member of ‘Professional Geoscientists Ontario’ (PGO no. 2348), a ‘Recognized Professional Organization’ (RPO). Mr. McGarry is a Principal Resource Geologist and full-time employee at McGarry Geoconsulting Corp. Mr. McGarry has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr. McGarry consents to the inclusion in this report of the results of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

This announcement has been authorized for release by the Company’s CEO, Mr. Keith Phillips

Appendix 1: JORC Table 1 Checklist of Assessment and Reporting Criteria

Section 1 Sampling Techniques and Data

Criteria JORC Code explanation Commentary
Sampling techniques
  • Nature and quality of sampling (e.g. cut channels, random chips, or specific specialised industry standard measurement tools appropriate to the minerals under investigation, such as downhole gamma sondes, or handheld XRF instruments, etc.). These examples should not be taken as limiting the broad meaning of sampling.
  • Include reference to measures taken to ensure sample representivity and the appropriate calibration of any measurement tools or systems used.
  • Aspects of the determination of mineralisation that are Material to the Public Report. In cases where ‘industry standard’ work has been done this would be relatively simple (e.g. ‘reverse circulation drilling was used to obtain 1 m samples from which 3 kg was pulverised to produce a 30 g charge for fire assay’). In other cases more explanation may be required, such as where there is coarse gold that has inherent sampling problems. Unusual commodities or mineralisation types (e.g. submarine nodules) may warrant disclosure of detailed information.
All drill results reported are from diamond core samples or rotary sonic drill core. The core was split at an orientation not influenced by the distribution of mineralization within the drill core (i.e. bisecting mineralized veins or cut perpendicular to a fabric in the rock that is independent of mineralization, such as foliation). Diamond and Rotary Sonic drilling provided continuous core which allowed continuous sampling of mineralized zones. The core sample intervals were a minimum of 0.35m and a maximum of 1.5m for HQ or NQ drill core (except in saprolitic areas of poor recovery where sample intervals may exceed 1.5m in length). Sampling took into account lithological boundaries (i.e. sample was to, and not across, major contacts).

Standards and blanks were inserted into the sample stream to assess the accuracy, precision and methodology of the external laboratories used. In addition, field duplicate samples were inserted to assess the variability of the mineralization., The laboratories undertake their own duplicate sampling as part of their internal QA/QC processes. Examination of the QA/QC sample data indicates satisfactory performance of field sampling protocols and assay laboratories providing acceptable levels of precision and accuracy.

Drilling techniques
  • Drill type (e.g. core, reverse circulation, open-hole hammer, rotary air blast, auger, Bangka, sonic, etc.) and details (e.g. core diameter, triple or standard tube, depth of diamond tails, face-sampling bit or other type, whether core is oriented and if so, by what method, etc.).
All diamond drill holes were collared with HQ and were transitioned to NQ once non-weathered and unoxidized bedrock was encountered. Drill core was recovered from surface.

Rotary Sonic core was only drilled in the saprolitic zones. Drill core was recovered from surface. Holes were terminated in the saprolitic zone or once unoxidized rock was encountered

Oriented core was collected on selected drill holes using the REFLEX ACT III tool by a qualified geologist at the drill rig. The orientation data is currently being evaluated.

Drill sample recovery
  • Method of recording and assessing core and chip sample recoveries and results assessed.
  • Measures taken to maximise sample recovery and ensure representative nature of the samples.
  • Whether a relationship exists between sample recovery and grade and whether sample bias may have occurred due to preferential loss/gain of fine/coarse material.
The diamond core was transported from the drill site to the logging facility in covered boxes with the utmost care. Once at the logging facility, the following procedures were carried out on the core:

  1. Re-aligning the broken core in its original position as closely as possible.
  2. The length of recovered core was measured, and meter marks clearly placed on the core to indicate depth to the nearest centimeter.
  3. The length of core recovered was used to determine the core recovery, which is the length of core recovered divided by the interval drilled (as indicated by the footage marks which was converted to meter marks), expressed as a percentage. This data was recorded in the database. The core was photographed wet before logged.
  4. The core was photographed again immediately before sampling with the sample numbers visible.

For the Sonic core, recovery, geologic logging and sampling was conducted at the drill site by a Piedmont geologist.

Sample recovery was consistently good except for zones within the oxidized clay and saprolite zones. These zones were generally within the top 20m of the hole. No relationship is recognized between recovery and grade. The diamond drill holes were designed to intersect the targeted pegmatite below the oxidized zone where the sonic drilling was targeting pegmatites in the saprolitic zone.

Logging
  • Whether core and chip samples have been geologically and geotechnically logged to a level of detail to support appropriate Mineral Resource estimation, mining studies and metallurgical studies.
  • Whether logging is qualitative or quantitative in nature. Core (or costean, channel, etc.) photography.
  • The total length and percentage of the relevant intersections logged.
Geologically, data was collected in detail, sufficient to aid in Mineral Resource estimation.

Core logging consisted of marking the core, describing lithologies, geologic features, percentage of spodumene and structural features measured to core axis.

The core was photographed wet before logging and again immediately before sampling with the sample numbers visible.

All the core from the form the 107 holes reported was logged.

Sub-sampling techniques and sample preparation
  • If core, whether cut or sawn and whether quarter, half or all core taken.
  • If non-core, whether riffled, tube sampled, rotary split, etc. and whether sampled wet or dry.
  • For all sample types, the nature, quality and appropriateness of the sample preparation technique.
  • Quality control procedures adopted for all sub-sampling stages to maximise representivity of samples.
  • Measures taken to ensure that the sampling is representative of the in situ material collected, including for instance results for field duplicate/second-half sampling.
  • Whether sample sizes are appropriate to the grain size of the material being sampled.
Diamond core was cut in half with a diamond saw. Sonic Core was split with a large knife or machete.

Standard sample intervals were a minimum of 0.35m and a maximum of 1.5m for HQ or NQ drill core, taking into account lithological boundaries (i.e. sample to, and not across, major contacts).

Prior to 2020, the preparation code is CRU21 (crush to 75% of sample <2mm) and PUL45 (pulverize 250g to 85% <75 microns), in 2020 the code was changed to CRU16.

A CRM or coarse blank was included at the rate of one for every 20 drill core samples (i.e. 5%).

Sampling precision is monitored by selecting a sample interval likely to be mineralized and splitting the sample into two ¼ core duplicate samples over the same sample interval. These samples are consecutively numbered after the primary sample and recorded in the sample database as “field duplicates” and the primary sample number recorded. Field duplicates were collected at the rate of 1 in 20 samples when sampling mineralized drill core intervals

Samples were numbered sequentially with no duplicates and no missing numbers. Triple tag books using 9-digit numbers were used, with one tag inserted into the sample bag and one tag stapled or otherwise affixed into the core tray at the interval the sample was collected. Samples were placed inside pre-numbered sample bags with numbers coinciding to the sample tag. Quality control (QC) samples, consisting of certified reference materials (CRMs), were given sample numbers within the sample stream so that they are masked from the laboratory after sample preparation and to avoid any duplication of sample numbers.

Quality of assay data and laboratory tests
  • The nature, quality and appropriateness of the assaying and laboratory procedures used and whether the technique is considered partial or total.
  • For geophysical tools, spectrometers, handheld XRF instruments, etc., the parameters used in determining the analysis including instrument make and model, reading times, calibrations factors applied and their derivation, etc.
  • Nature of quality control procedures adopted (e.g. standards, blanks, duplicates, external laboratory checks) and whether acceptable levels of accuracy (i.e. lack of bias) and precision have been established.
All samples were shipped to the SGS laboratory in Lakefield, Ontario or Garson, Ontario

Prior to 2020, the preparation code is CRU21 (crush to 75% of sample <2mm) and PUL45 (pulverize 250g to 85% <75 microns), in 2020 the code was changed to CRU16 and PUL10, respectively.

Prior to 2020, the analysis code for lithium was GE ICP91A, which uses a peroxide fusion with an ICP finish, and has lower and upper detection limits of 0.001 and 50,000 (5%) ppm respectively. In 2020, the code was changed to GE ICP92A50. Accuracy monitoring was achieved through submission and monitoring of certified reference materials (CRMs).

XRF analysis code for major oxides prior to 2020 was GO XRF76V. In 2020 the code was changed to GO_XRF72

Sample numbering and the inclusion of CRMs was the responsibility of the project geologist submitting the samples. A CRM or coarse blank was included at the rate of one for every 20 drill core samples (i.e. 5%).

The CRMs used for this program were supplied by Geostats Pty Ltd of Perth, Western Australia. Details of the CRMs are provided below. A sequence of these CRMs covering a range in Li values and, including blanks, were submitted to the laboratory along with all dispatched samples so as to ensure each run of 100 samples contains the full range of control materials. The CRMs were submitted as “blind” control samples not identifiable by the laboratory.

Details of CRMs used in the drill program (all values ppm):

CRM Manufacturer Lithium 1 Std Dev
GTA-02 Geostats 1814 50
GTA-04 Geostats 9550 246
GTA-08 Geostats 1102 50
GTA-09 Geostats 4837 174

Sampling precision was monitored by selecting a sample interval likely to be mineralized and splitting the sample into two ¼ core duplicate samples over the same sample interval. These samples were consecutively numbered after the primary sample and recorded in the sample database as “field duplicates” and the primary sample number recorded. Field duplicates were collected at the rate of 1 in 20 samples when sampling mineralized drill core intervals. Random sampling precision was monitored by splitting samples at the sample crushing stage (coarse crush duplicate) and at the final sub-sampling stage for analysis (pulp duplicates). The coarse, jaw-crushed, reject material was split into two preparation duplicates, sometimes referred to as second cuts, crusher or preparation duplicates, which were then pulverized and analyzed separately. These duplicate samples were selected randomly by the laboratory. Analytical precision was also monitored using pulp duplicates, sometimes referred to as replicates or repeats. Data from all three types of duplicate analyses was used to constrain sampling variance at different stages of the sampling and preparation process.

Examination of the QA/QC sample data indicates satisfactory performance of field sampling protocols and assay laboratories providing acceptable levels of precision and accuracy.

Verification of sampling and assaying
  • The verification of significant intersections by either independent or alternative company personnel.
  • The use of twinned holes.
  • Documentation of primary data, data entry procedures, data verification, data storage (physical and electronic) protocols.
  • Discuss any adjustment to assay data.
Multiple representatives of Piedmont Lithium Inc. have inspected and verified the results.

CSA has conducted multiple site visits. Dennis Arne (Managing Director -Principal Consultant) toured the site, facilities and reviewed core logging and sampling workflow as well as Leon McGarry (Senior Resource Geologist). Each provided comments on how to improve our methods and have been addressed. Verification core samples were collected by Leon McGarry.

No holes were twinned.

Three-meter rods or 10 foot core barrels were used. Li% was converted to Li2O by multiplying Li% by 2.153.

For by-products, accuracy of the normative mineralogy was monitored using Rietveld semi-quantitative mineralogy for 38 XRD analyses from pulp samples as well as 3 QEMSCAN analyses of composites used for metallurgical test work. Normative estimates for quartz, spodumene, albite and K-feldspar (microcline) have average relative accuracies less than +/- 2 % compared to the QEMSCAN composite data, with muscovite showing a positive relative bias of 11.6 % (i.e. 11.6 % more muscovite in the QEMSCAN results than the normative mineralogy predicts). The normative mineralogical estimates for quartz, spodumene, albite, K-feldspar and muscovite have average relative biases of 1 %, -3.7 %, 11.9 %, 2.9 % and 6.3 %, respectively, compared to the XRD results, excluding XRD mineral estimates of 2 % or less taken to be at or close to the method limit of detection, and following correction of the normative estimates for K-feldspar and muscovite using the XRD data. The QEMSCAN mineralogical data are taken to be more reliable than the XRD data given complications associated with the Rietveld analysis of minerals with a strong preferred orientation, such as muscovite.

Location of data points
  • Accuracy and quality of surveys used to locate drill holes (collar and down-hole surveys), trenches, mine workings and other locations used in Mineral Resource estimation.
  • Specification of the grid system used.
  • Quality and adequacy of topographic control.
Drill collars were located with the Trimble Geo 7 which resulted in accuracies <1m.

All drill hole collar coordinates were collected in State Plane and re-projected to Nad83 zone17 in which they are reported.

Drill hole surveying was performed on each hole using a REFLEX EZ-Trac multi-shot instrument. Readings were taken approx. every 15 meters and recorded depth, azimuth, and inclination. In 2020, Piedmont conducted a LIDAR survey for the Project area

Data spacing and distribution
  • Data spacing for reporting of Exploration Results.
  • Whether the data spacing and distribution is sufficient to establish the degree of geological and grade continuity appropriate for the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimation procedure(s) and classifications applied.
  • Whether sample compositing has been applied.
For selected areas, the drill spacing is approximately 40 to 80 m along strike and down dip. This spacing is sufficient to establish continuity in geology and grade for this pegmatite system.

Composite samples are reported in Li2O%, this is calculated by multiplying drill length by Li2O for each sample; then the weighted averages for multiple samples are totaled and divided by the total drill length for the selected samples

Orientation of data in relation to geological structure
  • Whether the orientation of sampling achieves unbiased sampling of possible structures and the extent to which this is known, considering the deposit type.
  • If the relationship between the drilling orientation and the orientation of key mineralised structures is considered to have introduced a sampling bias, this should be assessed and reported if material.
The drill holes were designed and oriented with inclinations ranging from -52.4 to -85.8 degrees, to best intersect the pegmatite bodies as close to perpendicularly as possible.

Assay results in Appendix 1 are drill lengths and not true thicknesses.

All results reported for rock chip samples are from surface outcrop, sub-crop and float blocks. The reported samples are considered as grab samples and do not represent a continuous sample over any width or length of the mineralized system.

Sample security
  • The measures taken to ensure sample security.
Drill core samples and rock chip samples were shipped directly from the core shack by the project geologist in sealed rice bags or similar containers using a reputable transport company with shipment tracking capability so that a chain of custody can be maintained. Each bag was sealed with a security strap with a unique security number. The containers were locked in a shed if they were stored overnight at any point during transit, including at the drill site prior to shipping. The laboratory confirmed the integrity of the rice bag seals upon receipt
Audits or reviews
  • The results of any audits or reviews of sampling techniques and data.
CSA Global developed a “Standard Operating Procedures” manual in preparation for the drilling program.

CSA has conducted multiple site visits. Dennis Arne (Managing Director -Principal Consultant) toured the site and facilities as well as Leon McGarry (Senior Resource Geologist). Each provided comments on how to improve our methods and have been addressed. Verification core samples were collected by Leon McGarry.

Section 2 Reporting of Exploration Results

Criteria JORC Code explanation Commentary
Mineral tenement and land tenure status
  • Type, reference name/number, location and ownership including agreements or material issues with third parties such as joint ventures, partnerships, overriding royalties, native title interests, historical sites, wilderness or national park and environmental settings.
  • The security of the tenure held at the time of reporting along with any known impediments to obtaining a licence to operate in the area.
As of March 31, 2021, the Project comprised approximately 2,667 acres of surface property and associated mineral rights in North Carolina, of which approximately 988 acres are owned, approximately 113 acres are subject to long-term lease, approximately 79 acres are subject to lease-to-own agreements, and approximately 1,487 acres are subject to exclusive option agreements. These exclusive option agreements, upon exercise, allow us to purchase or, in some cases, enter into long-term leases for the surface property and associated mineral rights.

There are no known historical sites, wilderness or national parks located within the Project area and there are no known impediments to obtaining a licence to operate in this area.

Exploration done by other parties
  • Acknowledgment and appraisal of exploration by other parties.
The Project is focused over an area that has been explored for lithium dating back to the 1950’s where it was originally explored by Lithium Corporation of America which was subsequently acquired by FMC Corporation. Most recently, North Arrow explored the Project in 2009 and 2010. North Arrow conducted surface sampling, field mapping, a ground magnetic survey and two diamond drilling programs for a total of 19 holes. Piedmont Lithium Inc. has obtained North Arrow’s exploration data.
Geology
  • Deposit type, geological setting and style of mineralisation.
Spodumene pegmatites, located near the litho tectonic boundary between the Inner Piedmont and Kings Mountain belt. The mineralization is thought to be concurrent and cross-cutting dike swarms extending from the Cherryville granite, as the dikes progressed further from their sources, they became increasingly enriched in incompatible elements such as Li, tin (Sn). The dikes are considered to be unzoned.
Drill hole Information
  • A summary of all information material to the understanding of the exploration results including a tabulation of the following information for all Material drill holes:
  • easting and northing of the drill hole collar
  • elevation or RL (Reduced Level – elevation above sea level in metres) of the drill hole collar
  • dip and azimuth of the hole
  • down hole length and interception depth
  • hole length.
  • If the exclusion of this information is justified on the basis that the information is not Material and this exclusion does not detract from the understanding of the report, the Competent Person should clearly explain why this is the case.
Details of all reported in previous press releases
Data aggregation methods
  • In reporting Exploration Results, weighting averaging techniques, maximum and/or minimum grade truncations (e.g. cutting of high grades) and cut-off grades are usually Material and should be stated.
  • Where aggregate intercepts incorporate short lengths of high grade results and longer lengths of low grade results, the procedure used for such aggregation should be stated and some typical examples of such aggregations should be shown in detail.
  • The assumptions used for any reporting of metal equivalent values should be clearly stated.
All drill hole intercepts reported are for down hole thickness not true thickness.

Weighted averaging was used in preparing the intercepts reported.

The drill intercepts were calculated by adding the weighted value (drill length x assay) for each sample across the entire pegmatite divided by the total drill thickness of the pegmatite. For each mineralized pegmatite, all assays were used in the composite calculations with no upper or lower cut-offs. Mineralized pegmatite is defined as spodumene bearing pegmatite.

Intercepts were reported for entire pegmatites, taking into account lithological boundaries (i.e. sample to, and not across, major contacts), with additional high-grade sub intervals reported from the same pegmatite. In the case where thin wall rock intervals were included, a value of 0% Li2O was inserted for the assay value, thus giving that individual sample a weighted value of 0% Li2O.

Cumulative thicknesses are reported for select drill holes. These cumulative thicknesses do not represent continuous mineralized intercepts. The cumulative thickness for a drill hole is calculated by adding the drill widths of two or more mineralized pegmatites encountered in the drill hole, all other intervals are omitted from the calculation.

Li% was converted to Li2O% by multiplying Li% by 2.153.

Relationship between mineralisation widths and intercept lengths
  • These relationships are particularly important in the reporting of Exploration Results.
  • If the geometry of the mineralisation with respect to the drill hole angle is known, its nature should be reported.
  • If it is not known and only the down hole lengths are reported, there should be a clear statement to this effect (e.g. ‘down hole length, true width not known’).
Drill intercepts are reported as Li2O% over the drill length, not true thickness. The pegmatites targeted strike northeast-southwest and dip moderately to the southeast or have a near vertical orientation. The holes were drilled to the northwest and southeast with inclinations ranging between -52.4 and -85.8.
Diagrams
  • Appropriate maps and sections (with scales) and tabulations of intercepts should be included for any significant discovery being reported These should include, but not be limited to a plan view of drill hole collar locations and appropriate sectional views.
Appropriate diagrams are in previous press releases.
Balanced reporting
  • Where comprehensive reporting of all Exploration Results is not practicable, representative reporting of both low and high grades and/or widths should be practiced to avoid misleading reporting of Exploration Results.
All of the relevant exploration data for the Exploration Results available at this time has been provided in this report.
Other substantive exploration data
  • Other exploration data, if meaningful and material, should be reported including (but not limited to): geological observations; geophysical survey results; geochemical survey results; bulk samples – size and method of treatment; metallurgical test results; bulk density, groundwater, geotechnical and rock characteristics; potential deleterious or contaminating substances.
Soil sampling and walking magnetometer geophysical surveys have been completed on the Core and Central property as well as other regional properties
Further work
  • The nature and scale of planned further work (e.g. tests for lateral extensions or depth extensions or large-scale step-out drilling).
  • Diagrams clearly highlighting the areas of possible extensions, including the main geological interpretations and future drilling areas, provided this information is not commercially sensitive.
Piedmont may conduct additional drilling in 2021 at Central Property. Infill drilling is underway at the Core Property with results informing a DFS to be reported later in 2021.

Section 3 Estimation and Reporting of Mineral Resources

Criteria JORC Code explanation Commentary
Database integrity
  • Measures taken to ensure that data has not been corrupted by, for example, transcription or keying errors, between its initial collection and its use for Mineral Resource estimation purposes.
Geological and geotechnical observations are recorded digitally using the Geospark® Database System directly into a central relational database using standardized logging codes developed for the Project. To minimize risk of transcription errors sample data and analytical results are imported directly into the central database from the independent laboratory.
  • Data validation procedures used.
An extract of the Core database was validated by the Competent Person for internal integrity via Micromine ® validation functions. This includes logical integrity checks of drill hole deviation rates, presence of data beyond the hole depth maximum, and overlapping from-to errors within interval data. Visual validation checks were also made for obviously spurious collar co-ordinates or downhole survey values.
Site visits
  • Comment on any site visits undertaken by the Competent Person and the outcome of those visits.
The Competent Person; Leon McGarry P.Geo, has undertaken multiple personal inspections of the Piedmont Properties during 2017, 2018 and 2019 to review exploration sites, drill core and work practices. The site geology, sample collection, and logging data collection procedures were examined. A semi-random selection of drill collar locations at the Core, Central and Sunnyside properties was verified by the collection of independent check samples from drill core and outcrop from the Core Property. In addition to spodumene, the presence of by-product minerals: quartz, feldspar (albite and K-spar) and muscovite mineralization were verified by the inspection of drill core and outcrop.

Travel to the site was curtailed during 2020 and 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Competent Person monitored exploration at the property completed during this period through remote review of core photography and exploration activities by regular video conferencing with the exploration team.

The outcome of site visits and subsequent remote review was the determination that data has been collected in a manner that supports reporting a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Core, Central and Huffstetler properties in accordance with the JORC Code, and controls to the mineralization are well-understood.

  • If no site visits have been undertaken indicate why this is the case.
Site visits have been conducted.
Geological interpretation
  • Confidence in (or conversely, the uncertainty of) the geological interpretation of the mineral deposit.
Geological models developed for the Core, Central and Huffstetler deposits are based on the lithological logging of visually distinct pegmatite spodumene-bearing pegmatites within amphibolite-biotite schist and metasedimentary host facies. Deposit geology is well understood based on surface pegmatite outcrops and extensive drilling at spacings sufficient to provide multiple points of observation for modeled geological features. Thicker units show good continuity between points of observation and allow a higher level of confidence for volume and mineralization interpretations. Whereas, the grade and thickness of thinner or weathered or altered units tend to be more discontinuous and interpretations have more uncertainty.
  • Nature of the data used and of any assumptions made.
Input data used for geological modeling are derived from qualitative interpretation of observed lithology and alteration features; semi-quantitative interpretation of mineral composition and the orientation of structural features; and quantitative determinations of the geochemical composition of samples returned from core drilling.
  • The effect, if any, of alternative interpretations on Mineral Resource estimation.
Geological models developed for the Core, Central and Huffstetler deposits are underpinned by a good understanding of the deposit geology at the Piedmont properties. Based on input drillhole data, including orientated core measurements, and surface mapping, pegmatite dikes were modeled as variably orientated vertical to sub-horizontal sheets. Where drill data is sparse (i.e. at 80 m spacings) alternative interpretations, of the continuity of individual pegmatites between holes could be made. Alternate interpretations would adjust tonnage estimates locally but would not likely yield a more geologically reasonable result, or impact tonnage and grade estimates beyond an amount congruent with assigned confidence classifications.
  • The use of geology in guiding and controlling Mineral Resource estimation.
The model developed for mineralization is guided by observed geological features and is principally controlled by the interpreted presence or absence of spodumene-bearing pegmatite. Estimated deposit densities are controlled by interpreted weathering surfaces. Above the saprolite surface, and in outcrop, spodumene-bearing pegmatites have variable Li2O and mineral composition grade populations, sufficiently similar to fresh rock, allowing Li2O and mineral composition grade estimates not to be controlled by interpreted weathering surfaces.
  • The factors affecting continuity both of grade and geology.
Geological continuity is controlled by the preference for fractionated pegmatitic fluids to follow preferential structural pathways within the amphibolite and metasediment host rocks. Grade continuity within the pegmatite is controlled by pegmatite thickness, degree of fluid fractionation and the intensity of spodumene alteration to muscovite and amount of weathering. At the Core Property, modeled continuity is impacted by post-mineralization diabase intrusions and fault offsets in areas of limited extent. Modeled pegmatite extent is limited to within the Core, Central and Huffstetler property permit boundaries.
Dimensions
  • The extent and variability of the Mineral Resource expressed as length (along strike or otherwise), plan width, and depth below surface to the upper and lower limits of the Mineral Resource.
Spodumene-bearing pegmatites on the Core Property are assigned to three major corridors. Corridors extend over a strike length of up to 1.7 km and commonly have a set of thicker dikes of 10–20 m true thickness at their core. These major dikes strike northeast and dip steep to moderately toward the southeast. Dikes are intersected by drilling to a depth of 300 m down dip. Dikes are curvi-planar in aspect. Flat to shallowly dipping sills and inclined sheets are encountered across the Core Property and are tested by drilling over 600 m along strike and 520 m down dip. The vertical thickness of individual sills and inclined sheets range from 1 m to 10 m. A close spaced series of sills and inclined sheets may have cumulative thicknesses greater than 10 m. Spodumene-bearing pegmatites, or a close spaced series of pegmatites, can be traced between drillhole intercepts and surface outcrops for over 1,400 m. Although individual units may pinch out, the deposit is open at depth. The Mineral Resource has a maximum vertical depth of 210 m, beginning at the topography surface. Ninety-five percent of the Mineral Resource is within 150 m of the topography surface.

Spodumene-bearing pegmatites on the Central Property fall within a corridor that extends over a strike length of up to 0.6 km and contains a pair of thicker dikes of 10 m to 20 m true thickness at their core. These major dikes strike northeast and dip steeply to the southeast. Dikes are intersected by drilling to a depth of 225 m down dip. Although individual units may pinch out, the deposit is open at depth. The Central Mineral Resource has a maximum vertical depth of 275 m, beginning at the topography surface. On average, the model extends to 200 m below surface.

Spodumene bearing pegmatites on the Huffstetler Property fall within a corridor that extends over a strike length of up to 0.4 km and form a stacked series of inclined sheets each 2 m to 18 m true thickness. Inclined sheets strike northeast and dip moderately to the northwest. Spodumene bearing pegmatites are intersected by drilling to a depth of 200 m down dip from surface however up-dip extents are limited by the south eastern edge of the permit boundary. Although individual units may pinch out, the deposit is open at depth. The Huffstetler Mineral Resource has a maximum vertical depth of 150 m, beginning at the topography surface.

Predominantly, entire intervals of spodumene-bearing pegmatite are selected for modeling. Occasionally interstitial waste material 1 m to 2 m in thickness may be included to facilitate modeling at a resolution appropriate for available data spacings. No minimum thickness criteria are used for modeling; however, a pegmatite must be present in at least two drillholes to ensure adequate control on model geometry. Generally, spodumene-bearing pegmatite models are sufficient for use as MRE domains.

Estimation and modelling techniques
  • The nature and appropriateness of the estimation technique(s) applied and key assumptions, including treatment of extreme grade values, domaining, interpolation parameters and maximum distance of extrapolation from data points. If a computer assisted estimation method was chosen include a description of computer software and parameters used.
Samples coded by the modeled pegmatite domain they exploit were composited to 1 m intervals, a length equal to the dominant drill sample interval, and were then evaluated for the presence of extreme grades. Domained samples underwent spatial analysis within the Supervisor™ software which was used to define semi-variogram models for the Li2O grades and develop search ellipsoids and parameters. A four-pass search strategy was employed, with successive searches using more relaxed parameters for selection of input composite data and/or a larger search radius. Core, Central and Huffstetler Mineral Resources were estimated using Ordinary Kriging (OK) into block models created in Micromine®. The Li2O variable was estimated independently in a univariate sense.

In addition to Li2O, regularized weight percent grades are modeled for nine minerals: spodumene, quartz, albite, K-spar, muscovite, anorthite, apatite, biotite and diopside, which were estimated independently in a univariate sense. The spatial variability of mineral grades is sufficiently similar to Li2O grades to allow the use of the same search parameters utilized for the previously released Mineral Resource study announced on April 8, 2021. The consistent estimation approach was selected to ensure block compositional grade proportions honor those of input samples, and that block grade estimates for compositional minerals approximate 100%.

  • The availability of check estimates, previous estimates and/or mine production records and whether the Mineral Resource estimate takes appropriate account of such data.
This Core Property by-product MRE is an update to the by-product MRE for the Core Property reported on August 1, 2019.

Estimates of by-product grades and tonnages show good agreement with previous estimates. Tonnages show an incremental increase attributable to drilling completed since the pervious estimates.

This Central Property by-product MRE is a maiden resource. This Huffstetler Property by-product MRE is a maiden resource.

For each property resource estimate interpolations were checked visually, statistically, and using an Inverse Distance Weighted estimate.

  • The assumptions made regarding recovery of by-products.
Bench-scale metallurgical test work undertaken on material from the Core Property at NCSU-MRL announced on September 4, 2018 and at SGS Lakefield announced on May 13, 2020, recovered quartz, feldspar and mica concentrates as by-products to spodumene. These products were recovered at sufficient amounts and qualities to support the estimation of by-product Mineral Resources for the Core Property in addition to spodumene-hosted Li2O.

Pegmatites at the Central and Huffstetler properties have comparable physical properties to Core Property pegmatites and have similar mineralogical proportions. Central and Huffstetler pegmatites are therefore concluded to have comparable grades and by-product specifications.

  • Estimation of deleterious elements or other non-grade variables of economic significance (e.g. sulphur for acid mine drainage characterisation).
Within the resource model, deleterious elements, such as iron are reported to be at acceptably to low levels. Metallurgical test work demonstrates that deleterious elements will not impede the economic extraction of the modeled spodumene hosted lithium and by-product minerals. No estimates for other elements were generated.

Core Property pegmatites have comparable mineralogical and physical properties to pegmatites at the Central and Huffstetler properties.

  • In the case of block model interpolation, the block size in relation to the average sample spacing and the search employed.
Rotated block models aligned to the dominant strike of pegmatites were orientated at 35° for the Core and Huffstetler deposits and at 40° for the Central deposit.

Given the variable orientation and the thickness of the Core and Huffstetler MRE domains, a block size of 6 m(E) x 12 m(N) x 6 m(RL) was selected to honor moderately dipping pegmatites in the across strike dimension, and the shallow dipping pegmatites in the vertical dimension. For the Central Property, a block size of 6 m(E) x 18 m(N) x 18m(RL) was selected to honor steeply dipping pegmatites in the across strike dimension.

Core, Central and Huffstetler parent block dimensions compare to an average drillhole spacing of 40 m within the more densely informed areas, that increases up to an 80 m spacing in less well-informed areas. Blocks were sub-celled to a minimum resolution of 2 m(E) x 4 m(N) x 1 m(RL).

  • Any assumptions behind modelling of selective mining units.
Block dimensions are assumed to be appropriate for the mining selectivity achievable via open-pit mining method and likely bench heights. At the neighboring Hallman-Beam mine operating benches of 9 m were mined.
  • Any assumptions about correlation between variables.
For the Core, Central and Huffstetler properties modeled by-product mineral grades show both positive and negative correlations between modeled variables. Regularized weight percent grades are modeled independently in a univariate sense using search parameters that result in block model grade estimates that honor mineral proportions that result from normative calculations.
  • Description of how the geological interpretation was used to control the resource estimates.
Modeled pegmatite dikes host and constrain the mineralization model. Each pegmatite domain was estimated independently with hard boundaries assumed for each separate pegmatite body. The dominant modeled orientation of pegmatite units was used to inform search ellipse parameters, so that in-situ grade trends are reflected in the block model.
  • Discussion of basis for using or not using grade cutting or capping.
Domained by-product mineral grade data show normal distributions that do not contain extreme values and have coefficients of variation less than 1. On this basis, it is not necessary to cap by-product mineral grades.
  • The process of validation, the checking process used, the comparison of model data to drill hole data, and use of reconciliation data if available.
Block model estimates were validated visually and statistically. Estimated block grades were compared visually in section against the corresponding input data values. Additionally, trend plots of input data and block estimates were compared for swaths generated in each of the three principal geometric orientations (northing, easting, and elevation). Statistical validation included a comparison of composite means, and average block model grades, and a validation by Global Change of Support analysis.
Moisture
  • Whether the tonnages are estimated on a dry basis or with natural moisture, and the method of determination of the moisture content.
Tonnages are reported on a dry basis.
Cut-off parameters
  • The basis of the adopted cut-off grade(s) or quality parameters applied.
The economic extraction of by-product minerals at the is contingent on the economic extraction of lithium Mineral Resources at the Project. Accordingly, the by-product Mineral Resource is reported using a 0.4% Li2O cut-off which approximates cut-off grades used for comparable spodumene-bearing pegmatite deposits exploited by open pit mining.
Mining factors or assumptions
  • Assumptions made regarding possible mining methods, minimum mining dimensions and internal (or, if applicable, external) mining dilution. It is always necessary as part of the process of determining reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction to consider potential mining methods, but the assumptions made regarding mining methods and parameters when estimating Mineral Resources may not always be rigorous. Where this is the case, this should be reported with an explanation of the basis of the mining assumptions made.
The methods used to design and populate the Core and Central Mineral Resource block models were defined under the assumption that the deposit will be mined via open pit methods, since the depth, geometry and grade of pegmatites at the property make them amenable to exploitation by those methods. Inspection of drill cores and the proximity of open pit mines in similar rock formations indicate that ground conditions are likely suitable for such a mining method.

The Core resource model is constrained by a conceptual pit shell derived from a Whittle optimization using estimated block value and mining parameters appropriate for determining reasonable prospects of economic extraction. These include a maximum pit slope of 50°, appropriate recovery and dilution factors, a mining cost of US$2.25/t, a SC6 concentration cost of US$25 /t, a processing cost of US$2,616/t LiOH and a commodity price equivalent to US$ 12,910 /t LiOH.

Conceptual shells for Central and Huffstetler resource models, developed using the above parameters, extended to the base of the resource model where the deposit is open, and beyond the modeled strike extent of the resource model where the deposit is open. Accordingly, the entire Central and Huffstetler resource models are considered to have reasonable prospects of eventual economic extraction.

Metallurgical factors or assumptions
  • The basis for assumptions or predictions regarding metallurgical amenability. It is always necessary as part of the process of determining reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction to consider potential metallurgical methods, but the assumptions regarding metallurgical treatment processes and parameters made when reporting Mineral Resources may not always be rigorous. Where this is the case, this should be reported with an explanation of the basis of the metallurgical assumptions made.
The materials targeted for extraction comprise spodumene, quartz, feldspar and mica minerals for which metallurgical processing methods are well established. Based on metallurgical test work completed by SGS and reported by the company, which indicates:

  • Spodumene concentrate grades exceeding 6.0% Li2O and less than 1.0% Fe2O3.
  • Quartz samples delivered to potential solar glass customers and met customer quality expectations and has characteristics comparable to marketable quartz products.
  • Feldspar concentrate, comprised of albite and K-spar minerals, has characteristics comparable to marketable feldspar products.
  • Muscovite mica concentrate has physical properties comparable to marketable muscovite products.

The Competent Person has assumed that metallurgical concerns will not pose any significant impediment to the economic processing and extraction of spodumene from mined pegmatite.

Environmental factors or assumptions
  • Assumptions made regarding possible waste and process residue disposal options. It is always necessary as part of the process of determining reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction to consider the potential environmental impacts of the mining and processing operation. While at this stage the determination of potential environmental impacts, particularly for a greenfields project, may not always be well advanced, the status of early consideration of these potential environmental impacts should be reported. Where these aspects have not been considered this should be reported with an explanation of the environmental assumptions made.
No assumptions have been made regarding waste streams and disposal options; however, the development of local pegmatite deposits within similar rock formations was not impeded by negative environmental impacts associated with their exploitation by open cut mining methods. It is reasonable to assume that in the vicinity of the Project area, there is sufficient space available for the storage of waste products arising from mining.
Bulk density
  • Whether assumed or determined. If assumed, the basis for the assumptions. If determined, the method used, whether wet or dry, the frequency of the measurements, the nature, size and representativeness of the samples.
In situ dry bulk densities for the Core, Central and Huffstetler Mineral Resource were assigned on a lithological basis using representative averages.

At Core average bulk densities for spodumene bearing pegmatite and waste rock were derived from 1,568 determinations on selected drill core from the Property made by Piedmont geologists in the field and 139 by SGS Labs, Lakefield, Ontario.

At Central average bulk densities for spodumene bearing pegmatite and waste rock were derived from 197 determinations made by Piedmont geologists in the field on selected drill core from the Property. Density of weathered spodumene bearing pegmatite is taken from available data at Core property as of January 8, 2021.

At Huffstetler average bulk densities for fresh spodumene bearing pegmatite and waste rock were derived from 55 determinations made by Piedmont geologists in the field on selected drill core from the Property. Density of weathered spodumene bearing pegmatite and waste rock is taken from available data at Core property as of February 15, 2021.

Both Piedmont and SGS used the displacement method. Core fragments are typically 6 to 10 cm in length and 90 to 120 cm3 in volume. The Competent Person considers the values chosen to be suitably representative.

  • The bulk density for bulk material must have been measured by methods that adequately account for void spaces (vughs, porosity, etc.), moisture and differences between rock and alteration zones within the deposit.
Bulk density determinations are made on waste rock, saprolite and overburden. Moisture content of porous rock is determined from the change in mass after samples are dried. Void spaces were adequately accounted for by coating samples in cling film.
  • Discuss assumptions for bulk density estimates used in the evaluation process of the different materials.
For the Core Property, simple averages were generated for fresh pegmatite (2.71 t/m3), pegmatite saprolite (1.83 t/m3), overburden waste (1.31 t/m3), saprolite waste rock (1.32 t/m3) and amphibolite/metasedimentary country rock (2.88 t/m3).

For the Central Property, simple averages were generated for fresh pegmatite (2.84 t/m3), pegmatite saprolite (1.86 t/m3), overburden waste rock (1.23 t/m3), saprolite waste rock (1.36 t/m3) and country rock (2.95 t/m3).

For the Huffstetler Property, simple averages were generated for fresh pegmatite (2.70 t/m3), pegmatite saprolite (1.86 t/m3), overburden waste rock (1.30 t/m3), saprolite waste rock (1.36 t/m3) and country rock (2.84t/m3).

Classification
  • The basis for the classification of the Mineral Resources into varying confidence categories.
Mineral Resources at the Core and Central and properties have been classified as Indicated and Inferred on a qualitative basis; taking into consideration numerous factors such as: the validity and robustness of input data and the estimator’s judgment with respect to the proximity of resource blocks to sample locations and confidence with respect to the geological continuity of the pegmatite interpretations and grade estimates. All blocks captured in pegmatite dike interpretation wireframes below the topography surface are classified as Inferred. Indicated classification boundaries were generated that define a region of blocks that are informed by at least two drillholes and eight samples within a range of approximately 25 m to the nearest drillhole in the along strike or strike and downdip directions. No Measured category resources are estimated.
  • Whether appropriate account has been taken of all relevant factors (i.e. relative confidence in tonnage/grade estimations, reliability of input data, confidence in continuity of geology and metal values, quality, quantity and distribution of the data).
The classification reflects areas of lower and higher geological confidence in mineralized lithological domain continuity based on the intersecting drill sample data numbers, spacing and orientation. Overall mineralization trends are reasonably consistent within the various lithology types over numerous drill sections.
  • Whether the result appropriately reflects the Competent Person’s view of the deposit
The Core, Huffstetler and Central Property MREs appropriately reflect the Competent Person’s views of the deposit.
Audits or reviews
  • The results of any audits or reviews of Mineral Resource estimates.
The current model has not been audited by an independent third party.
Discussion of relative accuracy/ confidence
  • Where appropriate a statement of the relative accuracy and confidence level in the Mineral Resource estimate using an approach or procedure deemed appropriate by the Competent Person. For example, the application of statistical or geostatistical procedures to quantify the relative accuracy of the resource within stated confidence limits, or, if such an approach is not deemed appropriate, a qualitative discussion of the factors that could affect the relative accuracy and confidence of the estimate.
The accuracy of Mineral Resources for the Core, Central Huffstetler properties is communicated through the classification assigned to the deposit. The MRE has been classified in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 Edition) using a qualitative approach. All factors that have been considered have been adequately communicated in Section 1 and Section 2 of this Table.
  • The statement should specify whether it relates to global or local estimates, and, if local, state the relevant tonnages, which should be relevant to technical and economic evaluation. Documentation should include assumptions made and the procedures used.
By-product Mineral Resource statements for the Core, Central and Huffstetler relate to a global estimate of in-situ mineralized rock tonnes and estimated quartz by-product tonnage, estimated feldspar by-product tonnage comprising albite and K-spar minerals, and estimated muscovite mica by-product tonnage.
  • These statements of relative accuracy and confidence of the estimate should be compared with production data, where available.
There is no recorded production data for the Piedmont properties.

Michael White Joins Piedmont Lithium as Chief Financial Officer

NEW YORK –
Piedmont Lithium Inc., (“Piedmont” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: PLL; ASX: PLL), a clean energy company focused on the integrated production of lithium hydroxide to support the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, today announced the appointment of Michael White as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Reporting to the CEO, Keith Phillips, Mr. White brings deep accounting and finance experience to Piedmont, and will oversee the Company’s financial accounting and reporting, budgeting and forecasting, internal controls, compliance, treasury, tax, and risk management functions.

“We’re delighted to welcome Michael as our Chief Financial Officer and the newest member of our fast-growing leadership team,” said CEO, Keith Phillips. “We are entering an exciting phase for Piedmont as we prepare to allocate capital and ramp-up physical operations of our integrated lithium hydroxide business in North Carolina. Michael’s proven track record of developing and executing finance organizational strategy and solving complex business issues will be invaluable to us as we operate as a U.S. domiciled company. His background in controllership, corporate governance, public company reporting, financial planning and analysis and long-term strategic planning make him a great addition to our Piedmont family.”

Mr. White joins Piedmont from ChampionX Corporation (NASDAQ: CHX), formerly Apergy Corporation (NYSE: APY), a multi-billion-dollar manufacturing, chemicals, and services company, where he served as Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller with responsibilities for leading the company’s global accounting and financial reporting. In this role, Mr. White led enterprise-wide transformation of the global controllership function, created sustainable financial reporting with key performance metrics for operational leadership, and provided financial leadership related to mergers and acquisition activities, including a successful IPO. Prior to ChampionX, Mr. White held the position of Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller for Aegion Corporation (NASDAQ: AEGN), a global manufacturing and services company serving the industrial, oil and gas and water industries. Mr. White has held senior financial leadership positions throughout his 25-year career with companies primarily in the energy and technology sectors, including roles as Chief Financial Officer of Baker Energy and as a manager in the assurance practice with Ernst & Young.

Mr. White earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from the University of Houston and is a licensed CPA and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

About Piedmont:

Piedmont is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, positions us to be one of the world’s lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing U.S. electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers, places Piedmont on the path to be the most sustainable producer of lithium hydroxide in the world and allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. Additional information is available at www.piedmontlithium.com.

Keith Phillips

President & CEO

T: +1 973 809 0505

E: kphillips@piedmontlithium.com

Brian Risinger

VP – Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

T: +1 704 910 9688

E: brisinger@piedmontlithium.com

Piedmont Lithium Adds Governance and Operational Experience to Board Following U.S. Incorporation

NEW YORK –
Piedmont Lithium Inc., (“Piedmont” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: PLL; ASX: PLL), a clean energy company focused on the integrated production of lithium hydroxide to support the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, today announced the election of two new Non-Executive Directors to its Board, Mr. Claude Demby and Ms. Susan Jones, along with the retirements of long-serving Directors Anastasios Arima and Levi Mochkin. “We are extremely fortunate to have individuals with the leadership and operating experience of Claude and Susan join our Board. Their relevant executive and governance backgrounds will play a key role in helping guide our organization as the demand for electric vehicles and lithium hydroxide rapidly increases in the United States and around the world,” said Piedmont Board Chairman, Jeff Armstrong.

Mr. Demby, currently President of Cree LED, a Smart Global Holdings, Inc. company, brings exceptional governance experience through his current service as Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee and Director on the board of Brown Capital Management Mutual Fund Trust and prior service as Director on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond – Charlotte branch, including Chairman from 2012 to 2017. He also has a strong record of community service through his founding and running of Valour Academy Schools, Inc., in Raleigh, NC, and serving as an advisory board member of Duke Raleigh Hospital.

Mr. Demby has extensive executive and operational leadership experience, having served as CEO and Director of the Noël Group, a $250 million manufacturer of synthetic foam materials, and President and COO of L&L Products, after beginning his career in engineering roles with Procter & Gamble and GE Plastics. “Claude’s work leading the LED Products business at Cree, developing technologies and services that have a broad environmental, social and governance impact, will be extremely valuable to Piedmont given our focus on serving the electric vehicle market, which will play a critical role in helping reduce the world’s carbon footprint,” said Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Demby received an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

Ms. Jones spent 15 years of her career at Nutrien Ltd., a multibillion-dollar global mining and agricultural enterprise. Her most recent role prior to retirement in 2019 was serving as Executive Vice President and CEO – Potash, the world’s largest underground soft-rock miner. Ms. Jones has a wealth of board experience, having advised the boards of both Agrium and Nutrien, both NYSE publicly traded companies, as an executive, and currently serving on the board of TC Energy, a $50 billion market cap NYSE company, and Arc Resources. She has also served on the Boards of Gibson Energy and Canpotex.

Ms. Jones brings valuable legal experience combined with operating responsibilities over the course of her career with roles ranging from Chief Legal Officer to Managing Director of European Operations, and several other critical leadership positions. “Susan’s experience leading a global, vertically integrated, commodity company, combined with her extensive background in a variety of operational roles at Nutrien, will be an asset to Piedmont Lithium as we look to expand our business in the future,” added Mr. Armstrong. Ms. Jones received her JD from the University of Ottawa (Canada) and a BA in Political Science from the University of Victoria (Canada).

Piedmont CEO Keith Phillips commented, “As we welcome Susan and Claude, it is difficult to express how much we will miss and appreciate the vision and contributions that Taso and Levi brought to our organization to help us get to this point as a company. Mr. Arima is a visionary entrepreneur and was a co-founder of Piedmont Lithium, having identified both the economic and national security advantages of operating on the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt versus remote global locations. Taso is also the founder and CEO of Hyperion Metals, and is stepping back from the Piedmont board to dedicate all of his time to leading that new critical minerals venture. Mr. Mochkin has been a Board member and the Mochkin family trust has been Piedmont’s largest individual shareholder since the Company’s inception; his entrepreneurial guidance and wisdom together with being an unrelenting advocate of our story resonated with institutional and individual investors worldwide. We would not be where we are without them.”

About Piedmont:

Piedmont is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, positions us to be one of the world’s lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing U.S. electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers, places Piedmont on the path to be the most sustainable producer of lithium hydroxide in the world and allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. Additional information is available at www.piedmontlithium.com.

Keith Phillips

President & CEO

T: +1 973 809 0505

E: kphillips@piedmontlithium.com

Brian Risinger

VP – Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

T: +1 704 910 9688

E: brisinger@piedmontlithium.com

Confirmation of Capital Structure

Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL, ASX:PLL) (Piedmont or Company) provides the following information regarding the capital structure of Piedmont as requested by ASX. 

As at 17 May 2021 following implementation of the scheme of arrangement, the issued capital of Piedmont is as follows:

  • 15,749,533 Piedmont Shares on issue (equivalent to 1,574,953,300 Piedmont CDIs), which comprises:
    • 9,845,435 Piedmont Shares to be quoted on NASDAQ (equivalent to 984,543,500 Piedmont CDIs); and
    • 5,904,098 Piedmont Shares held by CHESS Depositary Nominees Pty Ltd, underpinning 590,409,800 Piedmont CDIs quoted on ASX.

This announcement has been authorized for release by the Company’s Company Secretary.

Implementation of Scheme

Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL, ASX:PLL) (Piedmont or Company) is pleased to advise that the scheme of arrangement (Scheme) to give effect to the re-domiciliation of Piedmont Lithium Limited (Piedmont Australia) from Australia to the United States of America has been implemented.

All Piedmont Australia shares have been transferred to Piedmont. The Scheme consideration, comprising Piedmont CDIs and Piedmont shares, has been issued to Piedmont Australia shareholders and Piedmont Australia ADS holders respectively, other than ineligible foreign shareholders and small parcel holders who did not make an election (Non-Electing Small Parcel Holders).

Ineligible foreign shareholders and Non-Electing Small Parcel Holders will have the Scheme consideration that they would have otherwise been entitled to receive issued to a sale agent who will then sell those Piedmont CDIs and remit the proceeds to those shareholders.

Further Information

If you require further information or have questions, please contact the please contact the Piedmont Scheme Information Line on 1300 218 182 (within Australia) or +61 3 9415 4233 (outside Australia) Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5:00pm (AEDT).

This announcement has been authorized for release by the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.