Ioneer (ASX:INR) to hit another lithium-boron milestone at Rhyolite Ridge in US

Ioneer (ASX:INR) to hit another lithium-boron milestone at Rhyolite Ridge in US

April 15, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

Ioneer will soon have an environmental impact statement on hand and ready for public comment as it looks toward construction of Rhyolite Ridge and producing lithium and boron from the US state of Nevada as soon as 2027.

The draft will be available from this Friday and will be the first statement of its kind issued from a Biden Administration seeking to accelerate domestic lithium production with bipartisan support.

The milestone is payoff from many long years of work for Australian and US-based company Ioneer (NASDAQ:IONR), collaborating with Tribal Nations and local, state, and federal governments from offices in Reno and Sydney to claim its place in an ascendant US battery supply chain.

A small flowering plant proved a major holdup to operations, and a proposed mine around critically imperilled Tiehm’s buckwheat became international news through the heights of the lithium boom.

The redesigned EIS document will include the dual ASX and NASDAQ-listed company’s efforts to relocate operations away from the plant and its significant voluntary investments for formal protection and propagation.

Ioneer Executive Chairman James Calaway said the forthcoming draft impact statement release document represents six years of hard work and has reaffirmed the company’s investment into Nevada.

“Rhyolite Ridge will help accelerate the electric vehicle transition and secure a cleaner future for our children and grandchildren,” Calaway said.

“As we move through the final steps in the federal permitting process, Ioneer will keep working to ensure this world-class project will operate efficiently and sustainably.”

Managing Director Bernard Rowe added the news set a clear path towards construction and put the company another step closer to making the project a reality.

“Ioneer is committed to working with the local community, Tribal Nations and state and federal agencies to help the US secure a domestic supply of the critical minerals vital to the clean energy transition,” Rowe said.

The environmental battle around Rhyolite Ridge became a fascinating case of green vs green, mining for critical electrification minerals opposed to preserving a plant which evolved into dependency on the same unique lithium and boron-rich soil.

And with a redesign to avoid any direct impact, North Sydney-headquartered Ioneer now believes its project will become a gold standard of responsible and sustainable mining.

Rhyolite Ridge will recycle half of all water used, with excess steam from on-site processing facilities expected to power an entire energy-independent project.

But the light is not yet fully green for the project, with its environmental impact document set to undergo a prescribed 45-day comment period before taking in feedback for a final draft and a Record of Decision expected in October 2024.

If proven positive, all that will remain between Ioneer and Rhyolite Ridge production will then be a final investment decision and financing.

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