Ioneer Ltd

September 2023 - Quarterly Activities Report

Ioneer Ltd (“Ioneer” or “the Company”) (ASX: INR, Nasdaq: IONR), an emerging lithium-boron supplier, is pleased to report on its activities for the quarter ending 30 September 2023 and provide an update on the development of its 100%-owned Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Esmeralda County, Nevada (“Rhyolite Ridge Project” or “the Project”).


Highlights

  • Permitting Progress – the Project continues to advance through the NEPA permitting process with no major issues or delays. A draft EIS is expected in Q4 2023.
  • Construction and Operational Readiness – the Company continues its preparations for commencement of construction in 2024:
    • Steering and Technical committees in place with partner Sibanye Stillwater ahead of the expected formalization of joint venture in 2024
    • Continued progress on engineering and procurement including construction planning, securing long lead items, and ensuring deliverables are at an “issued for construction” stage
    • Advancing ESG and ESH programs and building the owner’s team
    • Ongoing engagement with community stakeholders, including Tribal Nations
  • Organic Growth Potential – 360Mt Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE)
    • Three distinct types of mineralisation based on boron and clay content with Types 1 and 3 being low-clay types
    • Only Type 1 currently included in Project economics
    • Extensive testwork has shown that Type 3 (128Mt) is a candidate for vat or heap leaching methods, similar to those to be employed for processing Type 1 ore

Ioneer Managing Director, Bernard Rowe said:

“Rhyolite Ridge is one of a limited number of lithium projects in the U.S. expected to begin production by 2026. The site’s rare minerology and presence of our meticulously engineered, on-site processing facility will allow Ioneer to provide a stable, long-term, socially, and environmentally responsible source of lithium and boron in and for the United States.

Ioneer’s progress toward a Final Investment Decision and commencement of construction at Rhyolite Ridge continued this past quarter. We are financially well-positioned as we approach being fully permitted with conditional debt and equity commitments of nearly US$1.2 billion.

In September, we announced findings from our latest leach tests conducted on low-boron (Type 3) mineralisation. The results further reinforced Rhyolite Ridge’s unique ability to help meet domestic lithium needs and demonstrated the material’s organic growth potential – currently excluded from Project economics but located within the existing footprint of the proposed mine site.

We look forward to completing the important federal permitting process, delivering these critical and valuable materials, and strengthening domestic EV supply chains.”


Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from Ioneer Ltd, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

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Ioneer

Ioneer's expanded partnership with EcoPro to bolster U.S. lithium production

Highlights:

  • Binding lithium clay Research and Development Memorandum of Understanding signed with Korea's EcoPro Innovation Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the EcoPro Group of Companies, will research, test, and develop lithium clay (M5) at Ioneer's Rhyolite Ridge site in rural Nevada.
  • The MOU provides an opportunity for Rhyolite Ridge to accelerate technical activities and the potential commercialisation of the 1MT (million tonnes) lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) clay resource within the soon-to-be-permitted Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project.
  • The agreement includes the funding from EcoPro for a commercial lithium hydroxide refining plant once the process is successfully developed.

Today , Ioneer Ltd (Ioneer or the Company) (ASX: INR, NASDAQ IONR), an emerging lithium–boron producer , and EcoPro Innovation Co Ltd ("EcoPro"), a global leader in battery grade high purity lithium hydroxide conversion, signed a Research and Development ("R&D") Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU").

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SQM REPORTS EARNINGS FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2023

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Highlights

Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 , of US$2,012.7 million ( US$7.05 per ADR), a decrease of approximately 48.5% from US$3,906.3 million ( US$13.68 per ADR) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2022 .

Gross profit reached US$3,075.1 million (41.2% of revenues) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 , lower than US$5,736.6 million (53.6% of revenues) recorded for the twelve months ended December 31, 2022 . Revenues totaled US$7,467.5 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023 , representing a decrease of approximately 30.3% compared to US$10,710.6 million reported for the twelve months ended December 31, 2022 .

The Company also announced earnings for the fourth quarter of 2023 of US$203.2 million ( US$0.71 per share), a decrease of approximately 82.3% compared to US$1,151.0 million ( US$4.03 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2022. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2023 reached US$400.7 million , approximately 75.6% lower than the US$1,641.9 million reported for the fourth quarter 2022. Revenues totaled US$1,311.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2023, a decrease of approximately 58.1% compared to US$3,133.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2022.

SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Ricardo Ramos , stated: "Our fourth quarter 2023 results reflected record-high sales volumes in lithium business and increased sales volumes in iodine and potassium business lines when compared to the previous quarter and the same period last year. Despite a downturn in lithium market prices when compared to the previous year, our focus on operational efficiency and ability to successfully execute capacity expansion projects have facilitated notable production growth in lithium and iodine businesses over the past year. While we continue with our expansions in Chile and expect our lithium carbonate capacity to reach 210,000 metric tons during the first quarter of this year, we also celebrated first production of spodumene concentrate at our Mt. Holland operation site during the fourth quarter of 2023. In the iodine business, as a result of successful start-up of Pampa Blanca operation, record-high production volumes were achieved during the year, reconfirming SQM´s position as industry leader with ability to deliver growth ahead of competition."

He continued by saying: "As we enter into 2024, we anticipate another robust year of growth in lithium market, with global demand increasing by at least 20%, supported by electric vehicle sales growth globally and increasing demand for battery materials. However, the excess in lithium and battery materials capacity seen during last year is expected to continue during this year, keeping pressure on lithium market prices. We expect our average lithium prices to remain relatively stable throughout the year and our sales volumes to increase slightly during this year, subject to market conditions and any changes in supply-demand balance."

He finished by saying: "In December last year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Codelco to jointly develop the Salar Futuro project and sustainably operate in the Salar de Atacama beyond 2030. Together with the communities, we are working on the definitive documentation in the upcoming months and will inform the market once this process is concluded. Last year, SQM was included into both DJSI World and Emerging Markets indices, several years ahead of our internal goal. This is the result of ongoing work and our commitments to increase the transparency and sustainability of our operations."

Total capital expenditure in 2023 was close to US$1.1 billion . For the period 2024-2025, total capex is expected to be approximately US$2.4 billion , including:

  • US$1.4 billion related to lithium capacity expansion projects in Chile , including US$130 million of maintenance.
  • US$700 million related to nitrates and iodine capacity expansion project in Chile , including US$160 million of maintenance.
  • US$340 million related to Mt. Holland lithium project in Australia and exploration projects.

The capex for 2024 is expected to be approximately US$1.3 billion , including maintenance.

About SQM

SQM is a global company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Santiago Stock Exchange (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A). SQM develops and produces diverse products for several industries essential for human progress, such as health, nutrition, renewable energy and technology through innovation and technological development. We aim to maintain our leading world position in the lithium, potassium nitrate, iodine and thermo-solar salts markets.

For further information, contact:

Gerardo Illanes / gerardo.illanes@sqm.com
Irina Axenova  / irina.axenova@sqm.com
Isabel Bendeck / isabel.bendeck@sqm.com

For media inquiries, contact:

Maria Ignacia Lopez / ignacia.lopez@sqm.com
Pablo Pisani / pablo.pisani@sqm.com

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make concerning the implementation of the MoU and potential partnership with Codelco, the development of Salar Futuro Project, Company's capital expenditures, financing sources, Sustainable Development Plan, business and demand outlook, future economic performance, anticipated sales volumes, profitability, revenues, expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or service line growth.

Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are estimates that reflect the best judgment of SQM management based on currently available information. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that are outside of our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in such statements, including our ability to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Plan. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by SQM with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent annual report on Form 20-F, which identifies other important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to SQM on the date hereof and SQM assumes no obligation to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

Cision View original content: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sqm-reports-earnings-for-the-twelve-months-ended-december-31-2023-302075007.html

SOURCE Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile , S.A. (SQM)

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