ioneer (ASX:INR) - Managing Director, Bernard Rowe
Managing Director, Bernard Rowe
Source: ioneer
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  • ioneer’s (INR) Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project becomes the first lithium operation in Nevada to secure key air and water permits
  • The company has been issued a water pollution control permit following a detailed project review by the State’s Division of Environmental Protection
  • Water-permitting studies have concluded the plant will not impact surface or sub-surface water quality at the site or in the surrounding region
  • Rhyolite Ridge is geared to produce lithium carbonate and boric acid end-products onsite with INR now progressing the project to construction
  • Shares are 3.7 per cent lower, trading at 39 cents apiece at 12:57 pm AEST

ioneer’s (INR) Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project has become the first lithium operation in Nevada to secure key air and water permits.

The emerging lithium-boron supplier was issued a water pollution control permit following a detailed project review by the US State’s Division of Environmental Protection.

The newly acquired permit, together with a class II air quality permit obtained last month, represent two critical State approvals required before construction can commence at Rhyolite Ridge.

According to ioneer, the operation will comprise a process plant, quarry, overburden storage facility and a spent ore storage facility — enabling the production of lithium carbonate and boric acid end-products onsite.

Accordingly, the project’s total surface footprint will reportedly span 3.8 square kilometres with no evaporation ponds or trailing dams included in the engineering design.

Results of water impact assessment

Importantly, studies undertaken as part of the water-permitting process concluded there would be no hydrologic draw-down impact at the site or in the immediate region — meaning no impact to surface or sub-surface water quality.

INR said this was a particularly important outcome given the arid environment surrounding Rhyolite Ridge and the company’s focus on minimising any potential interference with water resources.

Following suit, the project’s water usage is slated to be around 30 times less than the only other existing domestic lithium producer in the US, owing to its planned water reuse and recycling and the plant’s exclusion of evaporation ponds and tailing dams.

ioneer’s managing director, Bernard Rowe, said a strong commitment to responsible and sustainable production was at the core of INR’s business.

“The grant of the water pollution control and air quality permits represents a significant milestone for the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project and further demonstrates that our unique lithium-boron ore allows for the production of end products with minimal environment impact, including surface footprint, air quality and water conservation,” he said.

“As the most advanced lithium development project in the US, we are committed to ensuring Rhyolite Ridge is a sustainable, environmentally sensitive operation that also delivers significant positive economic impact in the state of Nevada.”

Having secured the required air and water permits, INR is continuing development of the project towards construction.

ioneer shares were trading 3.7 per cent lower at 39 cents apiece at 12:57 pm AEST.

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