Johannesburg – Sibanye-Stillwater has announced that it has reached agreement with ioneer Limited (ioneer) to establish a joint venture company with respect to the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project.
Following the satisfaction of all conditions precedent as detailed in Transaction Details, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer maintaining a 50% interest and retaining the operational management responsibility for the Joint Venture.
It is anticipated Sibanye-Stillwater’s investment along with third party debt will fund the project into production. ioneer will contribute 100% of Rhyolite Ridge for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture.
ioneer is an Australian Securities Exchange listed mining development company with a current market capitalisation of US$1.0bn and is the 100% owner of Rhyolite Ridge.
RHYOLITE RIDGE OVERVIEW
Rhyolite Ridge is a large, shallow lithium-boron deposit, located close to existing infrastructure. Rhyolite Ridge is expected to be one of the first large scale US lithium projects to enter production, currently anticipated in H2 2024.
Sibanye-Stillwater Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman commented, “This is Sibanye-Stillwater’s second lithium transaction and third transaction in the battery metals sector, which will be essential for the transition to a cleaner future. We are excited to build a long-term relationship with ioneer, who share our vision of facilitating security of lithium supply to the North American markets. Rhyolite Ridge is a world-class lithium project and we recognize its strategic value, with the potential to become the largest lithium mine in the US. The ioneer team have attracted high quality ex-Orocobre, Rio Tinto and Dow Chemical management which also has strategic importance for our wider battery materials strategy. We look forward to working collaboratively with the ioneer team and leveraging our complementary skills and capabilities to ensure this strategically important, world-class project is delivered, and materially contributes to reducing climate change.”