The U.S. Energy Department said Friday it has offered a conditional commitment to lend up to $700 million to Ioneer Rhyolite Ridge LLC to mine lithium carbonate for electric vehicle batteries in Nevada. Under the term sheet, the proposed loan is for an amount up to US$700 million with a term of approximately 10 years. The loan will be at an interest rate fixed from the date of each advance for the term of the loan at applicable U.S. Treasury rates.
Rhyolite Ridge is the most advanced undeveloped U.S. lithium project, and it is on track to provide an environmentally sustainable, long-life source of both lithium and boron for delivery into the U.S. domestic EV supply chain.
That project could potentially support production of lithium for approximately 370,000 EVs each year and reduce annual gasoline consumption by nearly 145 million gallons, the department said. The Rhyolite Ridge project has agreements to supply Ford Motor (NASDAQ: F) Prime Planet Energy & Solutions a Toyota Motor (7203.T) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T) joint venture, and others.