'It's white gold, it's the next rush' - Piedmont Lithium's Keith Phillips on Canada's critical mineral sector
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(Kitco News) - Being a cash-generating miner makes you popular, noted Piedmont Lithium CEO Keith Phillips.
On Thursday Phillips spoke to Kitco Mining.
This week Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq: PLL) announced partial prepayment of $31.6 million for September shipment of 15,000 dry metric tons (dmt) of lithium concentrate to a major international trading company.
North American Lithium (NAL) commenced commercial production in March 2023. The operation is a joint venture between Piedmont and Sayona Mining.
Piedmont said that vessel loading is scheduled for mid-September, adding that the prepayment increased the company's cash position to approximately $100 million.
Phillips said becoming a producer is significant.
"We think these cash flows from the shipments will fund really all of our development needs
other than building our big projects in Tennessee and Carolina," noted Phillips.
Piedmont has a mix of lithium projects it is advancing to production, as well as downstream processing operations it wants to build. The company's projects include its Carolina Lithium and Tennessee Lithium projects in the United States and a partnership in Ghana with Atlantic Lithium.
High lithium prices have resulted in a flurry of activity. There are many juniors now exploring for lithium in North America.
"I cannot tell you how many people who approached us to help fund them—dozens for sure," said Phillips. "Five years ago it was hard to find a geologist who cared. Everybody was focused on gold. Everyone's now focused on lithium. It's white gold, it's the next rush."