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New rules approved to regulate mining in Gaston County

The county's new rules allow for mining in industrial zones, with a special use permit.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Tuesday night, Gaston County commissioners approved new rules for mining operations, including standards for fencing, lighting, noise control, and other operations.

Piedmont Lithium has proposed an $840 million facility in northern Gaston County. It plans to supply lithium for Tesla as well as other electric car batteries.

Some neighbors say they're concerned about traffic and environmental damage from blasting at the mine. 

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The county's new rules allow for mining in industrial zones, with a special use permit. Piedmont Lithium has applied for a state mining permit but has not yet applied for local zoning approval.

Piedmont Lithium's Brian Risinger previously told WCNC Charlotte the company is confident they can be good, safe neighbors.

"We're very confident that we've done our homework and are applying the newest technology, the best technology to make sure that we meet all of the requirements or really far exceed whatever the demands would be," Risinger said.

Piedmont Lithium has said the project will create 500 jobs and could open as early as 2024. 

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