Albemarle to use Caterpillar electric vehicles in US mines
Chemical company Albemarle and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar have signed a deal to decarbonise mining in the US. The agreement includes a collaboration to deploy Caterpillar battery-electric trucks at Albemarle’s Kings Mountain lithium mine in North Carolina, a lithium off-take framework agreement, and an agreement to explore opportunities to collaborate on the research and development of battery cell technologies and recycling techniques.
The partners do not mention details on the individual areas of cooperation in their statements. There are also no details yet on the electric off-highway vehicles for mining. It also remains to be seen how Caterpillar can use lithium from the Albemarle mines in its electric vehicles; battery material manufacturers and cell manufacturers would still have to get involved. But there is time: the mine in North Carolina is not expected to start up again for another three years.
“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,” says Eric Norris, Albemarle’s Energy Storage President.
Albemarle recently received a 90 million dollar funding commitment from the US government to support the expansion of domestic mining and lithium production for the country’s battery supply chain. The funds will be used to purchase a fleet of mining equipment as part of reopening the company’s Kings Mountain lithium mine planned for late 2026.