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ioneer (ASX:INR) - Managing Director, Bernard Rowe
Managing Director, Bernard Rowe
Source: Finance News Network
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  • ioneer (INR) signs a three-year offtake deal with Korean cathode materials manufacturer and supplier, EcoPro Innovation
  • ioneer will supply up to 7000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per annum from its globally significant Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada
  • EcoPro plans to convert the lithium carbonate into a high-purity lithium hydroxide at its cathode plant in Korea to meet customer requirements
  • Significantly, this marks ioneer’s first lithium offtake agreement and is an important step in becoming a key player in the EV industry
  • Company shares were up 4.41 per cent and trading at 35.5 cents at 12:33 pm AEST

ioneer (INR) has signed a binding offtake deal with Korean cathode materials manufacturer and supplier, EcoPro Innovation.

The three-year agreement will see ioneer supply and deliver up to 7000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per annum from its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada.

The total tonnage comprises an initial 2000 tonnes per annum with the potential for an additional 5000 tonnes per annum if both parties agree by no later than the first quarter of 2022.

EcoPro plans to convert the lithium carbonate into a high-purity lithium hydroxide at its cathode plant in Korea to meet its customers’ requirements.

EcoPro’s Innovation President, Anthony Kim, was pleased to partner with ioneer.

“ioneer’s lithium carbonate is well suited for conversion to high purity lithium hydroxide with a minimal environmental footprint,” Mr Kim said.

“The US location of Rhyolite Ridge, coupled with the growing importance of the electric vehicle sector, positions both companies to play an important role in the electrification of transportation in the US.”

Based on a definitive feasibility study completed last year, the Rhyolite Ridge project is a world-class lithium and boron project that’s slated to become a globally significant, long-life, low-cost source of lithium and boron that will support a sustainable future.

Significantly, this deal marks ioneer’s first lithium offtake agreement and represents up to 34 per cent of the company’s annual lithium carbonate output for the first three years of production.

For context, the Nevada-based project is forecast to produce an annual average of 20,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate, or about 22,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide and 174,400 tonnes of boric acid per year over its 26-year mine life.

ioneer Managing Director Bernard Rowe said this partnership represents a significant milestone for the company.

“Following a pilot plant tour in mid-2019 and detailed testing of our product samples, we are pleased that EcoPro found that our materials meet its exacting standards and determined that ioneer was the right partner to support EcoPro’s strategy for producing battery grade lithium hydroxide,” Mr Rowe said.

The only condition precedent for this agreement is ioneer reaching a final investment decision which is expected in the near term.

Company shares were up 4.41 per cent and trading at 35.5 cents at 12:33 pm AEST.

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