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North Carolina gives Piedmont Lithium 2nd extension to file documents

Jan 27 (Reuters) - North Carolina regulators have given Piedmont Lithium Inc a second extension to submit necessary documents for the company's application to build one of North America's largest lithium mines.

State officials since August 2021 have been reviewing how the proposed mine, which has garnered widespread opposition from neighbors in a community just outside Charlotte, could affect water table levels, sewage systems and wildlife, among other factors.

Piedmont had been scheduled to provide the information to officials by July 13, 2022.

The company sent regulators more than 1,000 pages of answers last June, but then asked for an extension to Jan. 8 for the remainder of the material, citing delayed lab test results and wastewater analysis. The extension was granted by state officials.

Late last month, Piedmont asked for the Jan. 8 deadline to be extended until May 1, 2023, again citing a delay in wastewater analysis.

Patrick Brindle, Piedmont's chief operating officer, said in a letter to state officials that a municipal wastewater treatment facility was studying its ability to "treat the proposed flow of water" from the mine. State officials approved the second extension, according to regulatory filings uploaded to the state's website.

Piedmont meanwhile has been working to open lithium projects in Quebec and Ghana with partners. The company earlier this month signed a deal to begin supplying a specialized type of lithium later this year to Tesla Inc from a Quebec mine for which permits have already been obtained.

Piedmont also plans to build a lithium processing facility in Tennessee, for which it was given a $141.7 million grant by the Biden administration last fall. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)