Engineering and construction firm Fluor has received a contract to deliver ioneer’s lithium and boron mine outside of Tonopah, Nevada in the US.
Under the terms of the contract, Fluor will initially provide a definitive feasibility study.
After the completion of the study, the company will deliver engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for the project.
Fluor intends to book the feasibility study contract value in the fourth quarter of this year, and the EPCM contract value next year, subject to a final investment decision.
The project is expected to produce 20,200t of lithium carbonate and 173,000t of boric acid per year.
Fluor Mining & Metals business president Tony Morgan said: “With the growing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage, Fluor is excited to work with ioneer on our first lithium mine project in Nevada.
“We will leverage our full suite of integrated solutions tools, including our Zero Base Execution process and fit-for-purpose modular design strategy, to develop an execution approach to deliver this project safely and with excellence.”
Globally, the demand for lithium is on the rise. The metal is a key ingredient in the batteries used in electric vehicles and mobile phones.
Flour noted that the full notice to proceed with the EPCM contract work is expected next year. First production from the mine is anticipated in 2021.
Earlier this week, another project Flour is working on has achieved first ore. The project is Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée’s (CBG) bauxite production expansion project in Kamsar, Guinea.
Fluor is delivering engineering, procurement and construction management services for the project. As per the contract terms, the company will handle the expansion of the mine infrastructure, rail system, port facility and processing plant infrastructure and utilities.