Lithium developer ioneer says US environmental litigation resolved

Australian lithium developer ioneer Ltd said on Wednesday it has resolved a lawsuit by a US environmental group over a rare wildflower at its proposed project in Nevada.

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sued US regulators last year for granting ioneer permits to explore for lithium in the northern part of Nevada, arguing that the region where ioneer is operating is the main habitat for the Tiehm’s buckwheat flower.

The Centre withdrew its suit on Jan. 3 after ioneer agreed to take additional measures to avoid any impact on the plant, and filed supporting information to the court, ioneer said in a statement to Australia’s securities exchange.

“The legal matter… has been dismissed and ioneer confirms there is and will be no impact to the company’s ongoing activities related to the project,” ioneer said in a statement.

The company said it has enough data from recent exploration projects to move forward on an environmental impact statement, the next step in the process to receive approval to build a mine.

It also said that its Definitive Feasibility Study remained on track for completion in the March quarter and that its development timeline was unchanged.

The company expects its Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project to produce 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate and 170,000 tonnes of boric acid annually once it is up and running.

(By Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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