Australia’s Ioneer is planning capital raising of over A$60m ($46.8m) to fund the development of the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Esmeralda County, Nevada in the US.

As part of the plan, the firm is conducting a fully underwritten institutional placement to sophisticated, professional and institutional investors.

The placement is priced at A$0.38 ($0.28) a share, which represent a discount of 13.6% to the company’s last closing price.

Under the existing placement capacity, the firm intends to issue about 158-million shares.

Proceeds from the capital raise is planned to be used by Ioneer to fund advance detailed engineering and vendor engineering; discretionary substantive pre-construction activities; environmental research and consulting; and towards working capital.

Ioneer said that the Rhyolite Ridge advanced lithium development project would help meet the growing demand for sustainably produced lithium.

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Ioneer managing director Bernard Rowe said: “Ioneer has continued to make significant progress in de-risking the Project since completing the bankable feasibility study, through advancing engineering work to a near construction ready stage.

“A number of critical milestones have been achieved including the submission of the Rhyolite Ridge Plan of Operations, forming a partnership with Caterpillar regarding equipment and services to be used at the Project, and the successful production of battery grade lithium hydroxide at our pilot plant.”

Ioneer expects to receive necessary federal and state permits for the Rhyolite Ridge project in fourth quarter of 2021 and be construction ready by the same year.

As per estimates, Rhyolite Ridge project has 146.5 million metric tonnes, including an ore reserve of 60 million metric tonnes.

Over the mine life of 26 years, the mine is expected to produce 63.8 million metric tonnes at an average annual rate of 2.5 million metric tonnes per year.