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Economic impact study expected on proposed lithium mining operation

At a community meeting back in November, neighbors expressed concerns over potential pollution.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Tuesday, a UNC Charlotte business professor will present an economic impact study of the proposed lithium mining operation in Gaston County.

Piedmont Lithium is working to get approval to build four different mines across 1,500 acres of land. Lithium extracted from those mines would be used to power electric car batteries.

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Piedmont Lithium has said the operation would create jobs and bolster national security by producing locally instead of abroad in China. 

At a community meeting back in November, neighbors expressed concerns over potential pollution. The company has said it will be the safest, most eco-conscious project of its kind in the world. 

"What we really hope is that people see the lengths that we have gone through to make this the safest, most eco-conscious project of its kind in the world," Piedmont Lithium’s Brian Risinger said in November. "This county and this country have an opportunity to contribute to protecting and preserving the planet but also creating really good-paying jobs in the process." 

Ultimately, it's up to Gaston County Commissioners to decide if the project moves forward.

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