Aug 2 (Reuters) – Piedmont Lithium Inc mentioned on Monday it can delay first shipments of lithium chemical compounds to electrical car maker Tesla Inc and that it doesn’t have a definitive date for when deliveries may start.
The choice was mutual, Belmont, North Carolina-based Piedmont mentioned. Tesla didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The preliminary contract, signed final September, referred to as for Piedmont to start supplying Tesla someday between July 2022 and July 2023 from a North Carolina lithium mine and processing amenities underneath growth.
Reuters that North Carolina officers have voiced considerations about Piedmont’s mission – which might be one of many largest U.S. lithium mines – and should now block or delay it. The corporate plans to use for a state mining allow this month.
Tesla, in the meantime, is constructing a plant in Texas that can convert Piedmont’s spodumene focus into lithium hydroxide, a key constructing block for EV batteries. The automaker utilized for Texas permits for its facility in April, based on state information, although it’s unclear when that facility can be operational.
Piedmont mentioned it’s attempting to sync its mission growth schedule with that of Tesla.
“Now we have in-built a point of flexibility based mostly upon the wants of our prospects and their timelines, and that consideration is mutually agreed upon,” Piedmont spokesperson Brian Risinger mentioned.
Piedmont is on the lookout for buyers to assist fund the $840 million mission. The corporate mentioned on Monday it can apply subsequent month for Superior Expertise Automobile Manufacturing Mortgage program.
A category motion lawsuit was filed final month in opposition to the corporate alleging that Piedmont’s executives mislead buyers about its mission growth timeline. Piedmont mentioned on Monday it believes the swimsuit “to be fully with out benefit and we’ll defend ourselves vigorously.”
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Enhancing by Will Dunham