ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) has successfully resolved a lawsuit relating to the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada, US.
On 3 January 2020, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) elected to withdraw its complaint and voluntarily dismiss its case against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – an agency within the U.S. Department of Interior.
The CBD had previously initiated action against the BLM in relation to certain notices to conduct exploration at Rhyolite Ridge.
The legal matter between the CBD and BLM has been dismissed and ioneer confirms there is and will be no impact on the company’s ongoing activities related to the project.
This includes the Definitive Feasibility Study, which remains on track for completion in current quarter, the permitting process and the overall project schedule as previously outlined.
Additional measures to avoid impact
ioneer was not named as a party to the lawsuit filed by the CBD against the BLM; however, the company elected to intervene in order to protect its interest in the project.
Following ioneer’s intervention and filing of supporting documents with the court, the CBD and the company reached a settlement on the matter.
As per the settlement, ioneer has agreed to additional measures to avoid impact on Tiehm’s buckwheat, a rare plant found in the area that is the presumed focus of CBD’s concern, during exploration and reclamation.
These measures are similar to the ones ioneer had previously put in place.
Definitive feasibility study on track
The settlement does not affect the completion of the definitive feasibility study or the company’s intent to file its Plan of Operations for the development of the project.
All exploration work conducted by ioneer at Rhyolite Ridge has been authorised by the BLM, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nevada National Heritage Program to ensure that Tiehm’s buckwheat is protected.
All drilling and related disturbances were at safe distances from the plants to ensure their protection.
Ioneer is continuing to make considerable efforts to ensure that exploration activities and future development plans minimise impacts on Tiehm’s buckwheat and protect it in compliance with federal laws and regulations.