The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a trespass notice to Australia-based ioneer for the unauthorised use of certain Tiehm’s buckwheat habitat at the Rhyolite Ridge lithium project, in Nevada.
The areas were being used as a laydown area for geotechnical drilling operations associated with collection of subsurface data.
BLM says its November 2022 approval of ioneer’s application for the drilling operations directed that all disturbance related to drilling activities was to be conducted outside of areas identified as critical habitat for Tiehm’s buckwheat – a plant listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
ioneer confirmed the permit breach and said that the placement and storage equipment along Cave Springs road was not authorised under the permit issued by the BLM.
The company stressed that it was a violation of BLM regulatory requirements and that no Tiehm’s buckwheat was disturbed.
“We take full responsibility for the breach and sincerely regret the inadvertent noncompliance with the permit. Since day one, ioneer has instructed our staff and contractors about the need to observe all permit conditions. We are investigating exactly how this failure occurred, and we will take action to assure total compliance in the future,” said MD Bernard Rowe.