In an exciting development that marks a significant step towards sustainable mining, Caterpillar has teamed up with chemical company Albemarle. They’ve inked a deal focusing on the deployment of CAT battery-electric trucks to decarbonize mining operations, kickstarting this green initiative at Albemarle’s Kings Mountain lithium mine in North Carolina.
But that’s not all – the partnership also extends to a lithium off-take framework agreement. Plus, the two giants will explore collaborative opportunities in the research and development of advanced battery cell technologies and innovative recycling methods.
While the finer details of the collaboration are still under wraps, and specifics about the electric off-highway vehicles for mining are yet to be revealed, the enthusiasm surrounding this partnership is palpable. It’s a waiting game to see how Caterpillar will integrate lithium from Albemarle’s mines into its electric vehicles. Given that battery material and cell manufacturers are likely to join the mix, this partnership promises to be a game-changer.
Eric Norris, Albemarle’s Energy Storage President, highlighting the transformative potential of this collaboration, shares:
“Beyond supplying infrastructure and materials, the battery-powered Caterpillar machinery and potential improvements to cell technology will open up new possibilities for the future of sustainable mining.”
Caterpillar’s involvement comes at a pivotal moment, as Albemarle recently secured a $90 million funding commitment from the US government. This fund is earmarked to bolster the domestic mining and lithium production sectors, strengthening the country’s battery supply chain. With these resources, Albemarle is set to acquire a fleet of mining equipment, paving the way for the reopening of the Kings Mountain lithium mine, slated for late 2026.