ioneer Ltd, an emerging lithium–boron supplier, has signed a binding offtake supply agreement with Ford Motor Company. Under the agreement, ioneer will supply Ford with lithium carbonate from its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada.
Under the agreement, ioneer will deliver 7,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium carbonate to Ford over a 5-year term, starting in 2025. Ford intends to utilize ioneer’s lithium carbonate to produce batteries for use in Ford electric vehicles through BlueOval SK, the Ford-SK On battery manufacturing joint venture.
ioneer is expected to produce an annual average of approximately 20,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate/hydroxide along with approximately 174,400 tonnes of boric acid per year over the Rhyolite Ridge project’s 26-year lifei. The dual production of lithium and boric acid allows ioneer to not only produce lithium in the U.S., but to do so at the bottom of the global cost curve. ioneer anticipates commencing production in the second half of 2025 to support urgent requirements for battery materials in the United States.
This agreement follows the earlier signing of an offtake agreementii representing approximately 34% of ioneer’s annual lithium carbonate production from Rhyolite Ridge in the first three years of operation.
ioneer’s Executive Chairman, James Calaway, said: “The agreement with Ford is a significant milestone for ioneer, highlighting the mature state of the Rhyolite Ridge project development and its ideal position to serve the U.S. supply chain with domestic battery materials. Partnering with a recognised world-class automaker that exemplifies the spirit of American innovation is a testament to the quality of our lithium carbonate, and our commitment to the highest environmental standards and sustainability practices.”
ioneer’s Managing Director,Bernard Rowe said: “Simply put, this strategic relationship means Nevada lithium for American cars, and it will lead to job creation across all levels of the electric vehicle supply chain. We look forward to continuing to work with Ford and its partners to help develop a secure and reliable end-to-end U.S. EV industry.”
Lisa Drake, Ford Model e vice president, EV Industrialization, said: “We look forward to developing this new relationship with ioneer. Helping unlock lithium in the U.S. will help us support localized production of battery cells going forward and, ultimately, support our efforts to deliver EVs for millions of customers.”