Ioneer [ASX:INR] Shares Rise on Binding Ford Lithium Offtake

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US-based ASX lithium developer Ioneer [ASX:INR] has signed a binding lithium offtake agreement with giant automaker Ford.

Like other lithium stocks, INR has been hit hard in 2022 as the hot story of 2021 cooled this year.

INR is down 35% year-to-date, although it has gained in recent weeks, up 30% in the past month.

Ford has been on a deal-making spree aiming to secure critical battery tech materials for its EV push, announcing recent deals with Rio Tinto [ASX:RIO] and Liontown Resources [ASX:LTR].

asx:inr ioneer lithium share prices chart

Source: Tradingview.com

Ioneer’s binding offtake with Ford

Lithium-boron developer Ioneer, based in the US, has announced a binding lithium offtake with automaker Ford.

Under the agreement, INR will supply Ford with lithium carbonate from its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron project in Nevada.

Ioneer will deliver 7,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate to Ford over five years, commencing from 2025.

The deal represents about 35% of Ioneer’s planned annual output in the first five years of production at Rhyolite.

The lithium company expects around 20,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate annually, as well as 174,400 tonnes boric acid during Rhyolite Ridge’s estimated 26-years of mine life.

INR’s position in the EV race

INR’s Executive Chairman James Calaway commented on the Ford offtake:

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 is expected to release its Final Investment Decision around June next year.

Ford will also be expected to give final product approval by September this year.

On the INR offtake, Ford’s senior executive Lisa Drake 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.’

As the lithium-ion battery market really ramps up, vehicle manufacturers are madly securing supply chain deals.

The EV market is set to expand, especially on the back of government initiatives and funding programs designed to support the production of battery metal minerals.

For instance, Joe Biden has publicly campaigned the need to boost production in the US, offering loans to assist companies.

And the EU is set on scrapping higher-emission vehicle sales entirely by 2035.

But our energy expert Selva Freigedo says that despite global efforts to transition to EVs, the industry faces a supply crunch, and the EV battery tech materials race may be entering a new type of frenzy.

Selva has recently released a comprehensive report on the EV battery tech sector.

Access Selva’s battery tech metals report here, for free.

 

Regards,

Kiryll Prakapenka,

For Money Morning

 

About Kiryll Prakapenka

Kiryll Prakapenka is a research analyst focusing on investigating the biggest trends in investments. Kiryll brings sound analytical skills to his work, courtesy of his Philosophy degree from the University of Melbourne. A student of legendary investors and their strategies, Kiryll likes to synthesise macroeconomic narratives with a keen understanding…

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