PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Lithium hopeful Ioneer on Wednesday told shareholders that its agreement with US greens group the Center for Biological Diversity would have "no impact" on the ongoing activities at its Rhyolite Ridge lithium/boron project, in Nevada.
Mining Weekly Online earlier this week reported that the ASX-listed company had struck a deal with the Center, agreeing to notify the conservationist group of any additional mining or exploration plans at the site, or any plans to build the mine.
The mining company also agreed to use hand tools, rather than heavy machinery, for work necessary to repair the damage from exploration activities that occurred within 30 feet of a population of the Tiehm’s buckwheat wildflower.
The native species, which is only found within the footprint of the proposed mine site, was the catalyst for the Center launching legal action against the US government to challenge exploration permits awarded to Ioneer.
Ioneer on Wednesday said that while the company had not been named in the lawsuit, it chose to intervene in order to protect its interest in the Rhyolite Ridge project.
The company further stated that the agreement reached with the Center would not impact on the ongoing activities at the project area, including a definitive feasibility study, which is scheduled for completion in the current quarter, as well as the permitting process and the overall project schedule.
The ASX-listed company has maintained that all drilling and related disturbances were at safe distances from the plants to ensure their protection, with the company making "considerable efforts" to ensure that exploration activities and future development plans minimized impacts to the wildflower and to protect it in compliance with federal laws and regulations.
Following the completion of its exploration activities, Ioneer elected to close and relinquish the notices and start routine reclamation work required under US laws, with the company saying on Wednesday that the voluntary relinquishments would have no impact on its properties, given that it had completed the exploration work needed to file its plan of operation.