Albemarle, a US-based chemical manufacturer, has won a $90-million grant from the US Department of Defense to expand domestic mining and production of lithium for EV batteries.
Using Defense Production Act authority, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy will subsidize the company’s planned reopening of its lithium mine in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, by purchasing a fleet of mining equipment. The planned Kings Mountain mine contains one of the few hard rock lithium deposits in the US. The facility should supply enough material for 50,000 tons lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) of conversion capacity and initially enable the production of 1.2 million EVs when it becomes operational in late 2026.
“Lithium is an essential ingredient in our sustainable energy future. Demand is expected to increase significantly and it is imperative to secure our nation’s supply of this critical resource,” said Albemarle’s President of Energy Storage, Eric Norris.