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Ioneer expands partnership with EcoPro to bolster US lithium production

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Ioneer Ltd, a lithium–boron producer, and EcoPro Innovation Co Ltd, a company specialising in battery grade high purity lithium hydroxide conversion, signed a Research and Development Memorandum of Understanding.

EcoPro will conduct research and development on the lithium clay resource – one of three distinct styles of lithium mineralisation found at Ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron project. The goal will be to develop a process to commercialise Rhyolite Ridge lithium clay to produce refined lithium materials for the US EV battery supply chain.

Stage 1 of Rhyolite Ridge focuses on searlesite (high lithium, high boron) mineralisation, while the lithium clay mineralisation will be extracted and set aside. Stage 1 is in the final phase of US federal review process. For Stage 1, Ioneer will produce an annual average of approximately 20 600 t of lithium carbonate alongside approximately 174 400 tpa of boric acid during the mine’s 26-year life. Any production from the activities contemplated by this MoU would be incremental.

Ioneer Executive Chairman, James Calaway, said, “We are delighted to build upon our partnership with EcoPro. We look forward to accelerating development of another layer of Rhyolite Ridge mineralisation. This partnership provides Ioneer with additional financial flexibility to focus on delivering its core investment at Rhyolite Ridge as well as develop growth opportunities. The ultimate goal of EcoPro and Ioneer is to increase the supply of refined lithium materials for the US EV supply chain and create hundreds of well-paying jobs in Nevada and beyond.”

EcoPro Innovation President Anthony Kim, added, “Lithium extraction technology is not just a process of selectively extracting lithium but a complex and difficult technology that requires removing uncertain impurities. EcoPro Innovation has an original patent for lithium extraction from waste batteries and launched its business in EcoPro Group. EcoPro Innovation is a technology-competitive company with a number of source patents in hydromet processes. We will perform well as soon as possible to gain the upper hand from other competitors.”

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US mining news Lithium mining news