Fluor wins first lithium mine contract in Nevada

ioneer Ltd (formerly Global Geoscience Ltd) has selected Fluor to deliver the definitive feasibility study for its Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project outside of Tonopah, Nevada, in the US.

Fluor will initially provide the DFS and, as the project advances, engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services.

The appointment follows the completion last month of the Rhyolite Ridge prefeasibility study, which showed the mine could extract and process ore to produce 20,200 t/y of lithium carbonate and 173,000 t/y of boric acid.

Fluor said the full notice to proceed on the EPCM phase is expected in 2019 with first production expected in 2021. The company will book the feasibility study contract value in the December quarter of 2018 and expects to book the full EPCM contract value in 2019 dependent on a final investment decision.

Tony Morgan, President of Fluor’s Mining & Metals business, said: “With the growing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage, Fluor is excited to work with ioneer on our first lithium mine project in Nevada.

“Our team brings the right combination of technical and execution expertise. We will leverage our full suite of integrated solutions tools, including our Zero Base ExecutionSM process and fit-for-purpose modular design strategy, to develop an execution approach to deliver this project safely and with excellence.”

Bernard Rowe, Managing Director of ioneer, said Fluor was chosen because of its capabilities, integrity and proven track record of delivering value.

“A key aspect of Fluor’s selection was its strong and highly experienced technical team based in the US.”