South African firm investing $490M in Nevada lithium mine

A South African mining firm is pumping $490 million into a lithium mine project in rural Nevada, giving the venture a big financial boost as demand for electric vehicles and other lithium uses grows.

Sibanye-Stillwater Ltd. agreed to invest nearly a half-billion dollars into Ioneer Ltd.’s Rhyolite Ridge project in sparsely populated Esmeralda County for a 50 percent ownership stake, the companies announced this week.

Management would start construction of the mine after it obtains a federal environmental permit, which isn’t expected until the second half of 2022, and hopes to have the facility up and running in 2024, according to James Calaway, executive chairman of Australia-based Ioneer.

Nevada is a key source of metals and minerals for mining firms, with the state comprising by far the biggest source of gold production in America. Ioneer’s lithium mine, some 240 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is expected to produce more than 20,000 tons of lithium battery material per year, Calaway said.

Lithium has a range of uses, including, most importantly, in rechargeable batteries for cellphones, laptop computers and electric vehicles, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Plenty of lithium exploration has occurred in Nevada over the past 10 years, though only one lithium mine, also in Esmeralda County, is operational statewide, said Tyre Gray, president of the Nevada Mining Association.

That facility, operated by Albemarle Corp., is the only producing lithium mine in North America, according to the company.

All this in a county that, as of summer 2019, boasted only 873 residents, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

Located on federal Bureau of Land Management land, the Rhyolite Ridge project is expected to cost nearly $1 billion and span around 600 acres, Calaway told the Review-Journal.

He said that when the mine is fully operational, it will support production of about 400,000 electric vehicles per year.

Calaway also said the mine is expected to produce 175,000 tons of boric acid annually.

More than 500 products with boric acid are sold in the U.S., including pesticides, fertilizers, household cleaners and laundry detergents, according to the National Pesticide Information Center.

News

More News

From Family Friendly to Adults Only
From Family Friendly to Adults Only

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority works copiously to ensure that Las Vegas is welcoming for all ages, but it admits that maintaining its adults-only reputation is one priority.

Famous Food Faire
Famous Food Faire

Television celebrity chefs have been padding their culinary resumes with Las Ve...

Vegas Has Live Sports
Vegas Has Live Sports

Sporting events continue to be a great opportunity to diversify Las Vegas’ city...

Recent News

Late Night Magic adds more variety to the Vegas magic scene
Late Night Magic adds more variety to the Vegas magic scene

Most late-night options for shows include comedy clubs and topless revues but Late Night Magic is a unique and affordable option for tourists who are looking for something different to do late night in Las Vegas.

By Late Night Magic
Atlas Group changing the property management game
Atlas Group changing the property management game

Atlas Group, LC, which won 2020’s Bronze for Best Property Management Company, is changing the way property management groups are thought of in the Las Vegas area one satisfied customer at a time.

Offering hope at the RIGHT time
Offering hope at the RIGHT time

Hope. That’s what Right Lawyers, divorce and custody attorneys in Las Vegas, deliver to their clients. Hope.

By RIGHT Lawyers
Small business offers fusion of Chiropractic and Yoga to reduce pain and improve function
Small business offers fusion of Chiropractic and Yoga to reduce pain and improve function

What started as a simple chiropractic endeavor, turned out to be a small business success story.

By 20/20 ChiroYoga

Must Read Articles

All of Vegas Loves of All Motown
All of Vegas Loves of All Motown

All Motown, the new live Las Vegas production show, inside the Athena Showroom at the Alexis Park Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, has proven to be a huge success since its premier in March of this year.

By All Motown
Dapper uniforms delight with Atlas Plumbing
Dapper uniforms delight with Atlas Plumbing

There is no other plumbing company in Las Vegas as memorable as Atlas Plumbing. The technicians at Atlas are instantly recognizable in their dapper uniforms, wearing vintage caps, suspenders, and impeccably tied bow ties.

By Atlas Plumbing
Love Story Wedding Chapel delivers incredible wedding experiences at a fraction of the cost
Love Story Wedding Chapel delivers incredible wedding experiences at a fraction of the cost

Love Story Chapel provides an array of weddings. This includes traditional, and traditionally Vegas to include an Elvis, and super convenient ‘On the Spot’ ceremonies which include coming to a couple’s home or hotel room.

By Love Story Wedding Chapel
Avenue Dental Plan helping patients and changing the industry
Avenue Dental Plan helping patients and changing the industry

Avenue Dental in Las Vegas is bypassing the conventional dental-insurance industry and returning key dental decisions to patients and their dentists.

By Avenue Dental Plan