Sibanye completes $70m investment in ioneer

28th October 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – ASX-listed ioneer has completed a $70-million transaction with Johannesburg- and New York-listed miner Sibanye-Stillwater to advance the Rhyolite Ridge project, in the US.

The two companies in September struck the $490-million deal under which Sibanye-Stillwater would acquire 50% interest in ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge lithium/boron mining project, in Nevada.

ioneer has also agreed to provide Sibanye-Stillwater with an option to participate in 50% of the North Basin, upon the election of Sibanye-Stillwater to contribute an additional $50-million.

Sibanye-Stillwater also agreed to a strategic placement of $70-million of ioneer’s shares at the developer’s ten-day volume-weighted average price of September 15. The proceeds from the placement will be used towards development capital requirements, medium-term working capital needs and to progress long-lead items to minimise time to production.

ioneer on Thursday told shareholders that it had now issued Sibanye-Stillwater with more than 145.86-million shares at a price of 65.53c each.

“We are pleased to welcome Sibanye-Stillwater to our register. Sibanye-Stillwater shares our vision of becoming a major force in the battery materials supply chain and their investment further aligns our two companies as we look to bring the Rhyolite Ridge project into production,” said ioneer MD Bernard Rowe.

“The voting results at the extraordinary general meeting, where our shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Sibanye-Stillwater placement, demonstrates the significance of this transaction in ensuring the successful delivery of the project. The funds secured from the placement will fund costs necessary to advance the project to commencement of construction, the purchase of certain long-lead items and for general working capital purposes.”

A 2020 definitive feasibility study estimated that the project would require a capital investment of $785-million and would produce an average of 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 26-year mine life.