North Carolina regulators have given Piedmont Lithium a mining permit to proceed with the construction, operation and reclamation of the company’s proposed Carolina Lithium project, according to an April 15 news release.

Located in Gaston County, North Carolina, the project is being designed to produce 30,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide per year, which Piedmont said is more than double the 20,000 metric tons or so currently being produced in the U.S. Plans are to fully integrate mining, spodumene concentrate and lithium hydroxide manufacturing operations at the site.

Approval of the company’s mining permit by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources is the precursor for the county’s rezoning process.

“We plan to develop Carolina Lithium as one of the lowest-cost, most sustainable lithium hydroxide operations in the world, and as a critical part of the American electric vehicle supply chain,” said Piedmont Lithium President and CEO Keith Phillips. “The project is expected to contribute billions of dollars of economic output and several hundred jobs to Gaston County and North Carolina’s growing electrification economy.”

Pending receipt of other necessary permits, rezoning approval and project financing, construction is expected to follow, Piedmont Lithium said.