Why the Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) share price is down another 8%

Troubles at its proposed North Carolina site are hurting the mining company.

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The Piedmont Lithium Inc (ASX: PLL) share price has had another terrible day on the market.

At market close on Monday, shares in the US-based lithium explorer are 68.5 cents each – down 8.05% on their previous closing price.

The catalyst for today’s sell-off seems to be the market reaction to the company’s presentation to residents and commissioners of Gaston County, North Carolina. According to The Charlotte Observer, many residents at the town hall expressed displeasure at the company and its plan to establish an open-pit lithium mine in their community.

Although the presentation was on Wednesday, Australian time, media reports of the meeting did not emerge until the weekend.

The company was forced to make the presentation when reports emerged the county board could reject Piedmont’s application for the mine. Its share price fell 20% on the day before a trading halt was called.

Let’s take a closer look.

“Putting the cart before the horse”

Piedmont Lithium CEO Keith Phillips went to the meeting in Gaston County to, as the company put it, “address misunderstandings in recent media reports regarding Piedmont’s development timeline, permit applications, and commitment to the environment”.

“I was advised a couple of years ago…we shouldn’t waste the commissioners’ time,” Mr Phillips said to the crowd.

County commissioners did not seem impressed.

“No company that I’ve ever dealt with has left, I think, such a bad taste in our citizens’ mouths,” one commissioner said.

“(This is) the biggest case in my 23 years sitting here of putting the cart before that horse,” said another.

According to the Observer, many residents wore red at the meeting in protest at the proposed mine.

“The few gains Piedmont Lithium is promising will not be worth the cost to our county’s quality of life,” one resident is quoted as saying at the meeting.

How important was this mine to the Piedmont Lithium share price?

Initially, the Piedmont Lithium share price partially rebounded on the news of the presentation to the county. However, the market seems to think the presentation was more a fizzer than a lifesaver for the project.

The proposed North Carolina mine is Piedmont’s only 100% owned project. It has minority interest in sites in Quebec, Canada, and Ghana. The company estimates it has the rights to approximately 39.2 million tonnes of lithium at the site.

At current market prices, that equates to an approximate value of US $538 billion. If the county were to reject the mine’s application, it would be an astronomical blow to the company’s revenue prospects.

The proposed North Carolina mine is Piedmont’s only 100% owned project. It has minority interest in sites in Quebec, Canada, and Ghana. The company estimates it has the rights to approximately 39.2 million tonnes of lithium at the site.

At current market prices, that equates to an approximate value of US $538 billion. If the county were to reject the mine’s application, it would be an astronomical blow to the company’s revenue prospects.

Piedmont Lithium share price snapshot

Despite recent difficulties, the Piedmont Lithium share price is still 590% higher than this time last year.

Piedmont Lithium has a market capitalisation of $1.2 billion.

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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.

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