Australian Pioneer Says US Government Loan Application Goes Forward

December 20 (Reuters) – Australian firm ioneer Ltd (INR.AX) said on Monday that its request for a U.S. government loan had passed the penultimate stage of review, bringing the company closer to fully funding its lithium mine project in Nevada. the electric vehicle industry.

The company said the US Department of Energy found its application for funding through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program to be “essentially complete” and may proceed to the third of four stages. . A final decision is expected within six months.

The Ministry of Energy was not immediately reachable outside normal office hours.

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While there is no guarantee that Eioneer will receive the loan, the step is a vote of confidence in the company’s $ 850 million Rhyolite Ridge project – 355 miles north of Las Vegas – despite the setback. environmentalists, regulators and others.

It also reflects growing concerns from the U.S. government that without more investment, demand for the white metal could exceed supply and delay efforts to tackle climate change.

South African miner Sibanye Stillwater Ltd bought half of the Rhyolite Ridge project in September for $ 490 million. Ioneer hopes the US government will loan him 40-50% of the remaining cost of the project through ATVM.

The third stage of the ATVM loan review will include a more detailed analysis of the project economics by the government and outside experts, ioneer said.

The company said it expects the mine to open by 2024. The US Fish & Wildlife Service may classify a rare flower at the pioneer mine site as endangered, a step that does not would not necessarily block the project but could prevent the obtaining of permits.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Nissan Motor Co Ltd are among the former recipients of ATVM loans. Piedmont Lithium Inc (PLL.O) has applied for ATVM loan financing for its lithium mine project in North Carolina.

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Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Peter Cooney

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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