Albemarle Corporation, a provider of essential elements for mobility, energy, connectivity and health, said this week it had signed agreements with Caterpillar Inc to collaborate on solutions to support the full circular battery value chain and sustainable mining operations.
The collaboration is expected to help Albemarle establish Kings Mountain N.C. as the first-ever zero-emissions lithium mine site in North America.
Under the agreements, Albemarle will utilize next-generation, battery-powered mining equipment.
The companies will also collaborate on research and development of battery cell technology and recycling techniques.
“At Albemarle, we are committed to building a more resilient world. Our partners are critical to achieving that impact, and this collaboration with Caterpillar exhibits how we ‘walk the talk’ to pioneer what’s next. It’s a win-win-win scenario, in which we are both customers and suppliers of each other, and the innovation we pursue together benefits the world,” Eric Norris, Albemarle’s Energy Storage President, said in a press release.
“Beyond supplying infrastructure and materials, battery-powered Caterpillar machinery and potential improvements to cell technology will open up new possibilities for the future of sustainable mining. We look forward to replicating at Kings Mountain the same progress that we have made toward social and environmental responsibility at our Salar de Atacama operation, where we became the first lithium producer in the world to complete a third-party audit and publish our report through the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance’s (IRMA) stringent standard,” Norris added.
“Caterpillar is developing lithium-ion batteries and battery-electric products today for our customers around the world who, like Albemarle, are driving toward net zero carbon emissions goals,” Rod Shurman, Senior Vice President of Electrification and Energy Solutions at Caterpillar, commented.
“The agreements for lithium offtake and potential collaboration on R&D signed today will help to advance this work and further build out a secure, resilient and sustainable value chain for electrified equipment across the Caterpillar portfolio, while also supporting Albemarle’s journey to more sustainable operations,” Shurman added.