PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed ioneer has awarded DuPont Clean Technologies a contract for the licence, engineering, and supply of proprietary equipment for the planned sulphuric acid plant at its Rhyolite Ridge lithium/boron project, in Nevada.
The plant will produce sulphuric acid for the leach process, along with zero-carbon steam and electricity that will drive the entire operation. Under the contract, DuPont will supply specialised sulphuric acid technology and equipment to ensure ultra-low emissions at Rhyolite Ridge.
The contract is conditional upon a final investment decision (FID) for the Rhyolite Ridge project, ioneer said on Tuesday.
“Development of the Rhyolite Ridge lithium/boron project is a critical strategic step to enable US production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage,” said ioneer MD Bernard Rowe.
“ioneer’s core commitment is to produce essential materials in an environmentally and socially responsible and sustainable manner through lowered emissions, reduced water usage and a minimal surface footprint. We are delighted to welcome MECS-DuPont to our team. It is a world leader in clean technology and emissions control and will work alongside ioneer to deliver this tier-1 project in the US.”
The Rhyolite Ridge project could produce 20 600 t/y of lithium carbonate, converting in the fourth year of operation to 22 000 t/y of battery grade lithium hydroxide and 174 000 t/y of boric acid, over a mine life of 26 years.
The project is expected to require a capital investment of $785-million, with a FID due late in 2021.