Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) share price opens 20% down on Wednesday

Permitting issues have come back to bite this mining company.

| More on:
Little boy crying with his hand over his eyes.

Image source: Getty Images

Piedmont Lithium Inc (ASX: PLL) shareholders have been given a rude awakening on Wednesday. The miner’s shares have slid 21% to 68.5 cents at the opening of trade.

There was no price-sensitive news from the company this morning. So what could possibly warrant a 20% fall in the emerging lithium producer’s shares?

Why the Piedmont Lithium share price is tumbling

Reuters has flagged a major shortcoming for Piedmont Lithium’s plans to become the “USA’s number one lithium hydroxide producer”.

According to Reuters, “The company [however] has not applied for a state mining permit or a necessary zoning variance in Gaston County, just west of Charlotte, despite telling investors since 2018 that it was on the verge of doing so.”

“Five of the seven members of the county’s board of commissioners, who control zoning changes, say they may block or delay the project because Piedmont has not told them what levels of dust, noise and vibrations will occur, nor how water and air quality would be affected.”

These permitting issues might be the catalyst behind the sharp 20% decline in the Piedmont Lithium share price this morning.

When did they expect to receive these permits?

According to a company presentation from November 2020, permitting for spodumene concentrate production and its chemical plant were expected to be complete by mid-2021.

Reuters said that, “Piedmont had been set to meet with commissioners in March, but canceled with three days’ notice, further straining the relationship. Piedmont said it canceled that meeting in order to further refine its plans.”

What’s next for the Piedmont Lithium share price?

Reuters reported that Piedmont President and CEO Keith Phillips expects to apply for a state mining permit this summer (June–August). With this permit they would aim to begin construction in April 2022 and production in the second half of 2023.

With today’s change, Piedmont Lithium’s market capitalisation is $1.37 billion.

Should you invest $1,000 in Piedmont Lithium right now?

Before you consider Piedmont Lithium, you'll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Piedmont Lithium wasn't one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for nearly a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of August 16th 2021

Motley Fool contributor Kerry Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Piedmont Lithium Inc. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on Share Fallers