Albemarle and Caterpillar partner on sustainable mining technologies and operations with focus on Kings Mountain lithium mine
Albemarle Corporation signed agreements with Caterpillar to collaborate on solutions to support the full circular battery value chain and sustainable mining operations. The collaboration aims to support Albemarle’s efforts to establish Kings Mountain, NC as the first zero-emissions lithium mine site in North America.
These efforts include utilization of next-generation, battery-powered mining equipment. Caterpillar and Albemarle signed an agreement making Albemarle’s North American-produced lithium available for use in Caterpillar battery production. The two companies will also explore opportunities to collaborate on research and development of battery cell technology and recycling techniques.
The announcement comes on the heels of Albemarle’s recent award of $90 million from the Department of Defense to help support the expansion of domestic mining and the production of lithium for the nation’s battery supply chain. (Earlier post.)
Caterpillar is developing lithium-ion batteries and battery-electric products today for our customers around the world who, like Albemarle, are driving toward net zero carbon emissions goals.
The agreements for lithium offtake and potential collaboration on R&D signed today will help to advance this work and further build out a secure, resilient and sustainable value chain for electrified equipment across the Caterpillar portfolio, while also supporting Albemarle’s journey to more sustainable operations.—Rod Shurman, senior vice president of Electrification and Energy Solutions at Caterpillar
The Kings Mountain mine is one of the few known hard rock lithium deposits in the US. The site could feed sufficient material for 50 kt LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent) of conversion capacity and support the initial manufacturing of approximately 1 million electric vehicles annually.