Fluor’s leadership and experience in mineral production is exemplified by its work to develop the most advanced and significant lithium operation in the United States. It is partnering wi​t​h ioneer ​to develop​ ​the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in central Nevada. A multidisciplinary Fluor team has spent more than 300,000 manhours on Rhyolite Ridge and the project is rapidly progressing toward shovel-ready status. Assuming permitting and final project funding occur in a timely manner, Rhyolite Ridge is expected to be ready to start construction in mid-2021.

“Fluor is united with ioneer in delivering a world-class project that will quadruple American lithium battery material production by 2023,” said Tony Morgan, president of Fluor’s mining and metals business. “This project fully supports our two companies’ mutual corporate goals of promoting a sustainable future. Fluor’s wide range of capabilities position us to support clients across the battery value chain and help lead the way in the ongoing energy transition and build up sustainable domestic supply to combat climate change.”

Fluor, ioneer and leading metallurgical laboratory, Kemetco Research, have undertaken a standard setting, lock cycle, full-simulation pilot plant over the past two years of development. Using extensive data collection and analysis, this robust test facility allowed Fluor engineers and subcontractors to fully understand the design parameters and performance expectations that allow this unique mineralogical project to not only succeed, but to produce at the very bottom of the global lithium cost curve, according to the company.

When complete, the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project will produce more than 20,000 tons of lithium battery materials, enough to support the production of more than 400,000 electric cars per year. This groundbreaking lithium project is leading the way in U.S. lithium-ion battery supply chain development.

Fluor, working with the ioneer team and subcontractors, will demonstrate the capability of U.S. engineering to deliver such an important project on schedule and budget.

The successful and timely delivery of ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada is a pioneering project leading the way in the United States as by providing an economic, and sustainable domestic supply of this material, which is a lynchpin for electrification, according to ioneer. In addition, this project will create nearly 1,000 jobs during construction and 300 new jobs during plant operation.