Friday, 4 June 2021 – Emerging lithium-boron producer ioneer Ltd (‘ioneer’ or the ‘Company’) (ASX: INR) today commented on the 12-month finding issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding Tiehm’s buckwheat, as was required under a recent court stipulation agreed upon by ioneer, FWS and the Plaintiffs.

FWS has found, based on the information currently available and due to severe drought conditions and herbivory (where animals are eating plants), that an investigation into an Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of Tiehm’s buckwheat is “warranted.” FWS will promptly publish a proposed rule to list Tiehm’s buckwheat (by September 2021 as agreed upon by court stipulation), at which time a period of public comment will commence.

ioneer Managing Director Bernard Rowe said:

“We fully support and share FWS’s commitment to protect and preserve Tiehm’s buckwheat. The latest finding was in line with our expectations, and we support the FWS’s deliberations on a final listing decision. This process will provide greater certainty around our schedule and diminishes the prospect of future litigation.

It’s important to note the 12-month finding is influenced by potential impacts to the plant from climate change, recent herbivory and mining activity, but does not consider conservation measures to minimize and mitigate for those impacts, which are still being developed. ioneer continues its work with FWS, U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and scientific experts on the development of a Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) to further its protection of the plant.

From the commencement of our Rhyolite Ridge Project planning, we have undertaken significant work and investment to minimize and mitigate any impact on Tiehm’s buckwheat, as we have done with all environmental aspects of our operation.

As previously noted by FWS, the plant is specifically under threat from ongoing drought, and unusual acts of herbivory by small mammals. ioneer is fully committed to assisting in the research, development and roll out of required protection measures to ensure Tiehm’s buckwheat’s conservation.

FWS is authorized by the ESA to issue an incidental take permit for activities it finds will not jeopardize continued existence of an ESA-listed species. Our protection and conservation efforts are being designed to meet that standard to maximize protections. The listing status does not affect the protections ioneer is planning for Tiehm’s buckwheat. By the time FWS is ready to make a final listing decision, we expect the CCA to be in place and plant conservation measures to be underway.

We acknowledge and appreciate the valuable scientific work that is being undertaken by the federal agencies, including the FWS and BLM, to ensure decisions and conservation measures regarding this important species are based on the best available science.

ioneer remains committed to the protection of Tiehm’s buckwheat irrespective of its listing status, and will implement the highest standard of measures to ensure that the species is protected. We remain confident that the science strongly supports the coexistence of our vital lithium operation and Tiehm’s buckwheat.”

Bernard Rowe
Ioneer USA Corporation

President

T: +61 419 447 280

E: browe@Ioneer.com

Jane Munday
FTI Consulting

Investor & Media Relations (Australia)

T: +61 434 225 643/ +61 488 400 248

E: jane.munday@fticonsulting.com

Grace Altman
FTI Consulting

Investor & Media Relations (USA)

T: +1 917 208 9352

E: grace.altman@fticonsulting.com

About Rhyolite Ridge and Ioneer

Ioneer Ltd is the 100% owner of the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA, the only known lithiumboron deposit in North America and one of only two known such deposits in the world. Rhyolite Ridge is expected to become a globally significant, long-life, cost-effective source of lithium and boron vital to a sustainable future.

Rhyolite Ridge’s unique mineralogy allow lithium and boron to be extracted in a low-cost and environmentally sustainable manner. The Project’s commercial viability is made possible by having both lithium and boron revenue streams.

Lithium is vital to enable technologies that combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. It is a critical component for batteries essential to electric vehicles, and the conversion of intermittent green energy to base load power. The US Department of Interior listed lithium as a critical mineral in Executive Order 13817 (Federal Register, 83 FR 7065). There is only one producing lithium mine in the USA and no new projects are under construction. Rhyolite Ridge will help address the over-reliance on South American and Chinese supply to the lithium-ion battery industry.

Boric Acid is also a very important material for clean technologies and sustainability and is only produced in a few locations globally. It is used in over 130 applications, including permanent magnets for electric cars and wind turbines, advanced glass for televisions, computers, handheld devices and solar panels. Over 70% of global boron reserves are located in Turkey with Rhyolite Ridge well positioned to geographically rebalance supply in the USA.