Ioneer, an emerging US supplier of lithium and boron, has earned a notice of intent (NOI) from the Bureau of Land Management for its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Esmeralda County, Nevada.
According to the company, the project’s purpose is “to provide environmentally sustainable lithium and boron to support development of domestic supply chains essential to the electrification of transportation and energy transition in the US.”
Publication of the NOI marks the beginning of the National Environmental Policy Act approval process, which includes a public review and comment phase, preparation of an environmental impact statement, and finally, the BLM’s record of decision (ROD). An approved plan, which would be the basis for compliance during operations and closure, would allow Ioneer to commence the Rhyolite Ridge Project. The company’s best estimate is for an ROD to be received in Q1 2024.
Production is expected to begin in 2026. The company expects the project to produce enough lithium to supply around 400,000 EVs per year.
“We understand the Rhyolite Ridge Project is the first lithium project to be issued a Notice of Intent under the Biden administration, and we see this as a significant step toward ensuring a strong domestic supply of critical minerals and strategic materials essential to the electrification of transportation in the US,” said Executive Chairman James Calaway.