The Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project provides a substantial foundation for ioneer to become a responsible and profitable producer of the materials necessary for a sustainable future. Rhyolite Ridge is a large, shallow lithium-boron deposit located close to existing infrastructure in southern Nevada, USA and owned 100% by ioneer.
Completed in April 2020, the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) validates Rhyolite Ridge as a world-class resource with significant value creation potential due to its low-cost, large-scale operation and long mine life.
Rhyolite Ridge is located:
- 25km west of Albemarle’s Silver Peak lithium mine
- 330km southeast of the Tesla Gigafactory near Reno
- 530km north of Los Angeles
- in Esmeralda County - the most sparsely populated county in Nevada
- on Federal (Bureau of Land Management) land at an altitude of approximately 1,800m
- in uninhabited semi-arid desert with annual rainfall averaging 10mm.
Lithium and boron can be readily leached from the Rhyolite Ridge host rock using dilute sulphuric acid, which differentiates Rhyolite Ridge from other sediment-hosted lithium deposits. This is due to the low-clay, low-carbonate and high-searlesite (boron) content of the rock.
The lithium and boron Mineral Resource is estimated at 146.5 million metric tonnes, including an Ore Reserve of 60.0 million metric tonnes, an increase in Reserves from the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) of 280%. The company expects to mine and process 63.8 million metric tonnes over the 26-year mine life at an average annual rate of 2.5 million metric tonnes per year.
Long mine life with rapid payback of capital: 5.2 years from first production.
The lowest cost producer globally of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide with a diversified and stable revenue mix from the co-production of lithium and boron.
Capital estimate of US$785 million, with additional US$74 million in capital to construct the lithium hydroxide unit in year 3 to be funded from free cash flow from operations – included in sustaining capital plan.
Production to commence by the middle of 2023 with a 26-year mine life and the further potential to increase total Resource and Reserves.
Nevada is a first-rate, mining friendly jurisdiction, and strategically located proximal to Tesla Gigafactory and California export ports.
Detailed construction timeline developed in DFS with clearly defined permitting process and sufficient cash on hand to advance the Project.
Rhyolite Ridge is a world-class resource with significant value creation potential.
Photo of the South Basin at Rhyolite Ridge