Neighbors Concerned About Proposed Gaston Co. Lithium Mine

GASTON CO., N.C. – Tuesday night, neighbors hope to learn more about plans for a proposed lithium mine in Gaston County.

The material would be used to power batteries for electric cars, but neighbors worry about the environmental impact.

Piedmont Lithium wants to build the mine on a site off Highway 150, east of Cherryville.

Company officials will make a presentation to Gaston County Commissioners on Tuesday night.

The company claims the site will be one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost produces of lithium hydroxide, and would be more sustainable than other lithium mines in China and South America.

“We’ve lived here for probably 10 generations,” says neighbor Will Baldwin.

Baldwin’s grandparents live right across the street from what would become the east pit of the mine.

He says he loves the quiet, peaceful countryside and fears what would happen if a mine is approved.

“The streams the Catawba Riverkeeper has described as pristine, it’s what they’re trying to aim for when they restore streams, you’re never going to get that back,” Baldwin says.

A Piedmont Lithium company spokesperson sent WCCB Charlotte the following statement:

“As a company focused on producing a product designed to help protect and preserve our planet by reducing carbon emissions and creating a clean energy economy in the United States; operating safely, sustainably and in an environmentally responsible way is our number priority. Period. We are focused on being conscientious stewards of our environment, while being a good neighbor and corporate citizen in the county, protecting the land and water where our teammates will also live and work. We have gone through extensive testing and regulatory approvals at the state and federal level, and will continue to comply with all state and local regulations as our project is reviewed and considered. There is nothing we can proceed with, without some form of government review, monitoring and approval. We are designing environmental protections into our operations from day one, and using the latest technology and processes available to protect the air, land and water in the area.  We are supporting an industry solely focused on bending the curve on climate change, reducing carbon emissions, and creating a more sustainable planet. We share those same goals, that is our mission and we are laser focused on being the most sustainable supplier in the world, while creating 500 good paying, permanent jobs in Gaston County, with an average salary of approximately $70,000 a year. We are always open to discussions with our potential neighbors, understand they want to learn more, and are happy to answer any questions anyone may have about our proposed operations. Anyone can reach out to me directly at: brisinger@piedmontlithium.com