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DoD awards Albemarle $90M to boost US lithium production

The US Department of Defense approved a $90-million grant to Albemarle Corporation to help support the expansion of domestic mining and the production of lithium for the US battery supply chain.

The funding will be provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, utilizing Defense Production Act authorities, and will be used to purchase a fleet of mining equipment as part of the company’s planned reopening of its lithium mine in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

The planned Kings Mountain mine contains one of the few known hard rock lithium deposits in the US. The site is expected to feed sufficient material for 50 kt LCE of conversion capacity and support the manufacturing initially of approximately 1.2 million electric vehicles annually.

Albemarle estimates that Kings Mountain will become operational as early as late 2026, pending permitting. At Kings Mountain, Albemarle is implementing “IRMA-Ready” standards—an operational playbook for mine sites in exploration phase. Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) standards emphasize environmental stewardship and community engagement.


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