Project AspectProject IconProject Aspect Description
SUPPLYING CRITICAL MINERALSCritical MineralsRhyolite Ridge produces battery components that will power 50 million EVs and strengthen domestic supply chains
CREATING NEVADA JOBSNevada Jobs400-500 during construction and 250-300 jobs during operations
GENERATING LOCAL AND STATE IMPACT Public Revenue ImpactProject will generate $15-25 million during construction and $13-31.5 annually once operational
LOW WATER USAGELow Water UsageApproximately 3,550 acre-ft/year usage of water, a similar usage to seven irrigation pivots and 840 acres
ROAD IMPROVEMENTSRoad ImprovementsCommitted to maintain and improve road from Highway 264 to facility
REDUCING EMISSIONS Low EmissionsCarbon-free energy production and limited greenhouse gas emissions
LIMITING OUR FOOTPRINTSmall FootprintNo evaporation ponds, no tailing dam. Approximately 931-acre footprint

*Applied Analysis Economic Impact Study, April 2020, Low-High Case Range


The Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, on public land administered by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) situated in the Silver Peak Range, part of the larger geo-physiographic Basin and Range Province of western Nevada.

Rhyolite Ridge Location

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Project Location

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Average Commute Times from RR

Rhyolite Ridge is approximately 14 miles northeast from Dyer, Nevada (nearest town). It is 65 miles southwest of Tonopah, Nevada (closest city), 215 miles from Reno (third largest city in Nevada), and 255 miles from Las Vegas (largest city in Nevada).

Surface elevations at the project site range from 5,535 to 6,010 feet (1,687 to 1,832 meters) above sea level.

Community Engagement

Ioneer is committed to making a positive impact on the local community. Since 2020, we have solicited feedback and provided updates to the community on a regular basis as the project has progressed. We also have worked closely with regulators regarding the socio-economic studies required for permitting projects on land administered by the BLM.

Ioneer continues to:

  • Providing regular presentations to regional County Commissions
  • Holding in-person community meetings
  • Collaborate with local Tribal Nations to understand their interests and priorities, while facilitating partnerships so they too can maximize the benefits of the transition to a clean energy economy
  • Publish Quarterly Newsletters to provide updates to the communities near the Project
  • Share updates in Local Newspapers
  • Be an active participant in the Esmeralda County Land Use Advisory Committee – a body formed by the Esmeralda County Commission to review and offer suggestions to update the County’s Master Plan.

Rhyolite Ridge Community Meeting in 2022

Ioneer Managing Director Bernard Rowe speaks to residents at a community event.

The Rhyolite Ridge Project will generate considerable economic impact within the regional community by generating millions of dollars in revenues for local governments and the state of Nevada. It will create jobs both from direct employment and indirectly through local businesses that will provide products and services at Rhyolite Ridge.

In April 2020, Applied Analysis issued an economic impact study related to the Rhyolite Ridge Project.
Key findings from the study are detailed below.


  • Over the expected construction period, the Rhyolite Ridge Project is projected to create about 473 construction jobs per year, resulting in over $60 million in wages and salaries, and an overall economic output of over $130 million.
  • The combined value of all spending as a result of the project’s construction (i.e., economic output) is estimated to range from $68 million to $217 million, which is expected to take two years.
  • The direct and indirect economic benefits of the project mean that for every dollar spent in the local economy, a total of $1.99 in economic activity benefits the surrounding community.


  • Once the Rhyolite Ridge project is operational, the site will directly employ 284 persons, for a total of nearly $40 million dollars in annual wages (average total compensation of $140,727 per job).
  • Nearly 681 indirect jobs are projected to be supported through purchases of supplies for the project, generating an additional $40.9 million in annual wages.
  • Local spending from both direct and indirect employees is expected to support an additional 381 jobs per year across the region.


  • During the construction phase of Rhyolite Ridge, the Project is estimated to contribute $22.5 million in sales and use taxes to benefit local and state governments using its median case assumptions.
  • Once operational, the Project will generate approximately $22 million annually in fiscal revenue for state and local governments through 1) Nevada net proceeds of minerals taxes, 2) sales and use taxes, 3) property taxes, 4) modified business taxes, 5) commerce taxes and 6) regulatory fees.


  • Ioneer’s investment in the local community goes beyond jobs and broader economic impact. We have been, will continue to be an active participant in the community by supporting local causes, including the annual Ioneer Sustainable World Scholarship, which awards local Esmeralda County high school graduates pursuing higher education in engineering, science and/or mining.
  • Once the Project is operational, Ioneer expects total annual charitable investments in the community to range between $100,000 and $250,000.


In July 2022, following conversations with federal regulators, Ioneer submitted a revised Plan of Operations for the Project. A partial list of these revisions is below:

  • Fencing around each buckwheat population,
  • Quarry Modification – no longer calls for translocation of Buckwheat from any subpopulation, resulting in no direct impact to any buckwheat plant,
  • Development of in-quarry overburden storage to minimize ground disturbance and improve stability,
  • Adoption of site-tailored mining techniques to maintain stable quarry walls,
  • Implementation of closure plans to provide long term stability once mining is completed,
  • Construction of North Overburden Storage Facility – located away from buckwheat populations
  • Revision of West Overburden Storage Facility to avoid buckwheat and other sensitive resources,
  • Weed and Invasive Species control activities will be limited to methods approved by BLM and USFWS, and
  • Enhancing design of Spent Ore Storage Facility as a “dry facility” with liners, seepage collection systems, and leak detection systems to collect and manage contact water.

Ioneer will also utilize new advancements in mining technology to enhance project performance, including haul truck automation, semi-autonomous dozing and drilling and fully autonomous drones for mine advancement surveys.

In September of 2022, Ioneer announced the completion of a Technology System Supply Agreement with Caterpillar, the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. This definitive agreement builds upon the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2021 and solidifies the early introduction of Cat® MineStarTM Command for hauling, Autonomous Haul System (AHS) at the Rhyolite Ridge Project.

To date, Cat autonomous mining trucks have safely hauled more than 2 billion tons of material worldwide, driving over 42 million miles.



The health and safety of Ioneer team members is paramount. This cornerstone approach will allow us to provide critical transition materials and a safe work site while protecting the surrounding communities and environment.

A site health, safety, environmental (HSE) and security program will be developed before construction starts and before the operations phase begins. The program will meet or exceed mandatory codes, acts and regulatory requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The HSE program will include safety requirements addressing hazardous processes, hazardous materials and equipment, fire suppression equipment, safe work permit requirements, emergency procedures, safety training requirements, incident reporting and medical services support.

The HSE plan will describe the project’s core values and policy for complying with all relevant HSE commitments, laws and regulations. Training for employees will include a comprehensive overview of expectations for safe execution of work activities on the project. This training will include instructions on how all project employees, contractors and other personnel are to perform their duties and comply with MSHA regulations.

Key Emergency Response Roles at Rhyolite Ridge will include:

  • Emergency Medical Technician – Ioneer will employ a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) to handle all minor incidents on-site. The EMT will be located at the medical clinic near the administration building
  • First Aid Responders – Ioneer will ensure that a minimum of one individual capable of administering first aid is present for all shifts
  • Fire Brigade – Individuals across the Project site will receive specialized fire-fighting training in areas with special materials or higher fire potential, and will also be equipped and trained to respond to any wildland fire that may occur near the Project.
  • Emergency Safety Warden – Each department/work team will have an emergency safety warden who will be trained and certified to act in the unlikely event of an emergency
  • An on-site ambulance and trained first aid responder will be available to respond to fire and medical emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Ioneer continues to work collaboratively with local emergency response personnel to coordinate to respond to any major incidents quickly and effectively.