SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): South African miner Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. announced that it has signed a deal worth $490 million to purchase half of Ioneer Ltd.’s Nevada lithium mine project.
Australia-based Ioneer said that it will form a joint venture with Sibanye Stillwater to develop the Rhyolite Ridge mine, located approximately 220 miles north of Las Vegas. The main operator of the project would be Ioneer. However, it will make use of the rich experience of the world’s largest PGM miner in developing the project.
The project is expected to cost around $850 million. The remaining sum will be funded through debt financing. The necessary financing as well as permits for the project are expected to be realized by the end of 2022. The project is expected to become operational by end-2024.
This is the second major investment by Sibanye Stillwater in lithium projects during the current year. Earlier in February, the company had purchased around one-third of Finnish lithium company Keliber Oy.
Commenting on the investment, Neal Froneman, Chief Executive, Sibanye Stillwater said that the company recognizes the strategic value of the world-class lithium project, which has the potential to become the largest lithium mine in the entire U.S.