On May 4, 2023 Ioneer CEO, Bernard Rowe, and the company’s full-time botanist, Florencia Peredo Ovalle, detailed the company’s latest efforts to protect and conserve Tiehm’s buckwheat at a groundbreaking event at the a greenhouse dedicated solely to research and conservation of the specie. The findings demonstrated success in growing new Tiehm’s buckwheat plants from seeds collected from the known populations.

We have taken considerable steps to protect the native Nevada plant and supported the listing of Tiehm’s buckwheat as an endangered species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in December, 2022. To date we have contributed more than $1.5 million to ensure the plant’s long-term growth and success, and have budgeted an additional $1 million annually to the plant’s protection.

“Ioneer is committed to ensuring Tiehm’s buckwheat thrives while we working diligently to sustainably develop our Rhyolite Ridge Project, which will add a critical supply of lithium and boron to the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.” said Ioneer CEO, Bernard Rowe.

“Ioneer is pleased to share today’s propagation and growth findings. We look forward to building on our longstanding efforts in tending to Tiehm’s buckwheat and enhancing existing scientific understanding of this unique and special plant,” said Florencia Peredo Ovalle, Ioneer’s full-time botanist.

Besides our ongoing permitting work with federal agencies, we have also taken numerous voluntary measures to protect the plant and its habitat and minimize any potential impacts from the project’s development. In May 2020, we submitted a Project Plan of Operations to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which detailed the company’s specific actions to protect the air quality, biology, groundwater, soils, and rangeland around the Rhyolite Ridge facility. In 2022, we submitted a revised plan to BLM that included the creation of a quarter-mile radius to designate protected land for Tiehm’s buckwheat.

We remain highly confident that with our ongoing research and conservation efforts that Tiehm’s buckwheat and the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project can successfully co-exist.

Ioneer CEO Bernard Rowe (center) discusses the ongoing research and conservation efforts for Tiehm’s buckwheat with onlookers, including Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei (right).

A Tiehm’s buckwheat plant blooming at the Tiehm’s Buckwheat Conservation Center – May 3, 2023

Ioneer Botanist Florencia Peredo Ovalle provides an overview of the company’s propagation and growth studies for Tiehm’s buckwheat.

Photos by Mike Higdon / Flanz Media

About ioneer

Ioneer Ltd is the 100% owner of the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA, the only known lithium-boron deposit in North America and one of only two known such deposits in the world. The Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed in 2020 confirmed Rhyolite Ridge as a world class lithium and boron project that is expected to become a globally significant, long-life, low-cost source of lithium and boron vital to a sustainable future. In September 2021, Ioneer entered into an agreement with Sibanye-Stillwater where, following the satisfaction of conditions precedent, Sibanye Stillwater will acquire a 50% interest in the Project, with Ioneer maintaining a 50% interest and retaining the operational management responsibility for the joint venture. In January 2023, Ioneer received a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office for up to $700 million of debt financing. Ioneer signed separate offtake agreements with Ford Motor Company and PPES (joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic) in 2022 and Korea’s EcoPro Innovation in 2021.