Responsible Water Management
Water is crucial to all of us – people and planet alike. That’s why we take very seriously our responsibility for water management related to the Carolina Lithium project.
As part of the state mining permit process, we have conducted extensive tests to study the local hydrogeology and develop a responsible water management plan. Based on the results of this testing, we do not expect to cause significant issues with water availability in the area surrounding the project.
Will Carolina Lithium cause widespread drying up of wells?
No. There are a range of variables that determine how our mining may impact individual wells, such as well depth and location, placement of the pump, and condition of the well. However, based on the results of modeling and the understanding of local hydrogeology, the number of wells we are likely to impact by a drawdown of more than 12 inches may be fairly limited.
According to our most recent modeling, only a handful of parcels beyond our boundary that we do not own were indicated to potentially experience this type of drawdown. Results showed that other wells could experience an impact between 1 and 12 inches, but whether that drawdown would be noticeable or detrimental to the property owner would depend upon the specific conditions of the well. We will have monitoring wells around our property boundaries to allow us to monitor water levels and alert us to potential impacts before they reach wells beyond our boundary.
If the project affects the availability of water in a nearby well, we would work with that neighbor to help ensure their access to water in the near term and the longer term. As part of our state mining permit process, we have already developed proactive mitigation plans to address any impacted wells. These plans include: 1) drilling a new or improved well or 2) providing access to municipal water supplies. Piedmont also would make a payment to the impacted homeowner, which could be used to offset the cost of municipal water.
Expanding Municipal Water Resources
At Carolina Lithium, our need for municipal water supply for lithium hydroxide production creates the opportunity to expand access to water supplies for residents and businesses in the area. We are collaborating with local utilities to extend the municipal water system to our project area, which would, in turn, expand access for others in the area who are currently relying on groundwater resources for their primary water supply.
We are already working with Gaston County to complete design engineering for the potential waterline extension. We also have agreed to fund the construction of the waterline extension, which would be in place prior to the beginning of project operations and would provide a foundational water line around the Carolina Lithium site with stubs that would facilitate the connection to nearby neighbors.