Lithium Miner Ioneer Finds Workaround for Wildflower That’s Stalling US Project – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – August 4, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — A lithium supplier for Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. expects to clear an environmental hurdle involving a rare flower next year, paving the way for deliveries to electric-vehicle makers ahead of looming shortages of the battery metal.

Ioneer Ltd. seeks to build its Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, but the Australian company has been unable to get federal permits because public lands near the site are home to the endangered wildflower Tiehm’s buckwheat. The US Fish and Wildlife Service said in February it planned to designate about 910 acres near the project as a critical habitat for the pale yellow flower.

Ioneer submitted a revised plan of operations for the project that will protect the wildflower while the mine is being built, Executive Chairman James Calaway said in an interview.

“We’ve figured out how not to touch the plants and build the mine,” Calaway said. “There’s a consensus building that our plan of operations should be moving forward into the public review process.”

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