ioneer signs binding lithium offtake agreement with Ford
Lithium–boron supplier, ioneer announced that it has signed a binding offtake supply agreement with Ford Motor Company. Under the agreement, ioneer will supply Ford with lithium carbonate from its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada.
Under the agreement, ioneer will deliver 7 kt/a (7,700 stpy) of lithium carbonate to Ford over a five-year term, starting in 2025. Ford intends to utilize ioneer's lithium carbonate to produce batteries for use in Ford electric vehicles through BlueOval SK, the Ford-SK On battery manufacturing joint venture.
In a statement, ioneer said it is expected to produce an average of approximately 20.6 kt/a (22,700 stpy) of lithium carbonate/hydroxide along with approximately 174,400 t/a (192,240 stpy) of boric acid over the Rhyolite Ridge project’s 26-year life. The dual production of lithium and boric acid allows ioneer to not only produce lithium in the U.S., but to do so at the bottom of the global cost curve. ioneer anticipates commencing production in the second half of 2025 to support urgent requirements for battery materials in the United States.
This agreement follows the earlier signing of an offtake agreement representing approximately 34 percent of ioneer’s annual lithium carbonate production from Rhyolite Ridge in the first three years of operation.
“The agreement with Ford is a significant milestone for ioneer, highlighting the mature state of the Rhyolite Ridge project development and its ideal position to serve the U.S. supply chain with domestic battery materials,” ioneer’s Executive Chairman, James Calaway, said. “Partnering with a recognized world-class automaker that exemplifies the spirit of American innovation is a testament to the quality of our lithium carbonate, and our commitment to the highest environmental standards and sustainability practices.”
ioneer Ltd is the 100 percent owner of the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, the only known lithium-boron deposit in North America and one of only two known such deposits in the world. The Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed in 2020 confirmed Rhyolite Ridge as a world-class lithium and boron project that is expected to become a globally significant, long-life, low-cost source of lithium and boron vital to a sustainable future. In September 2021, ioneer entered a 50/50 joint venture agreement with Sibanye Stillwater Ltd to advance the Rhyolite Ridge project and signed a separate offtake agreement with Korea’s EcoPro Innovation in 2021. ioneer will be the operator of the Project, which is expected to come onstream in 2025.