ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) is expecting to complete and release the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in late April.
In response to COVID-19, the company has revised its forward plans and has adequate capital to move the project forward post DFS completion at a situationally prudent pace, and to fund all capital requirements until at least the end of 2021.
The revised capital plan will enable ioneer to complete the DFS, fully fund the Bureau of Land Management Environmental Impact Study permitting process and maintain its core team, including critical contractor personnel required to ensure continuity and the rapid re-acceleration of post-DFS detailed engineering work.
The company is closely monitoring the situation and is well prepared to accelerate work towards a Final Investment Decision once market and societal norms return.
“Balance sheet is resilient”
Managing director Bernard Rowe said: “The actions we are taking in response to COVID-19 will ensure the health and safety of our employees and partners, as well as the communities in which we operate, which is our priority.
“These initiatives will also allow the company to move critical initiatives forward, while minimizing financial risk to the company and project delivery.
“ioneer is well positioned to weather this tragic pandemic.
“Our balance sheet is resilient, and we have the ability to adjust expenditures quickly.
“The Projects’ fundamentals are strong, and we remain confident the soon to be completed DFS will demonstrate the value of this one-of-a-kind asset, which provides a multi-generational, secure U.S. source of lithium carbonate and boric acid.
“Having completed 18 months of extensive work on the project during the DFS, we are now close to 30% complete on engineering and are highly confident in the quality and the value of Rhyolite Ridge.
“Excited by forthcoming results of our DFS”
Rowe continued: “While the actions being taken will impact Rhyolite Ridge’s delivery, our close collaboration and shared commitment to this important strategic project with our EPCM, Fluor Corporation, and equipment partners will ensure we maximize progress during this difficult time.
“Like the rest of the world, we will creatively work until COVID-19 abates.
“We are excited by the forthcoming results of our DFS, and strongly believe in the importance of our mission to be a low-cost, long-life U.S. producer of these critical materials vital to a sustainable future.”