Ford Authority

BLM Moves Closer To Approving Ford EV Supplier’s Nevada Mine

Back in January 2023, Ford EV supplier Ioneer received a conditional commitment of up to $700 million for its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Loan Program. However, the project – which is located in southern Nevada’s Silver Peak Range and could eventually produce enough lithium to supply nearly 370,000 electric vehicles annually – still one has major hurdle to overcome, and that’s approval from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Now, that process is underway as BLM is now seeking public comment on a draft environmental impact statement pertaining to the site.

2024 Ford E-Transit - Exterior 002 - Front Three Quarters

BLM has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to identify significant protections for the endangered Tiehm’s Buckwheat, a desert flower endemic to the area, which has already prompted Ioneer to modify its mining proposal in an effort to minimize its impact on the local environment. That process includes redesigning and relocating the project’s features, funding Tiehm’s buckwheat propagation work, and developing a formal protection plan on the Ford EV supplier’s part.

Lithium is one of the main raw materials used in the construction of many EV batteries, but today, the bulk of that particular material is sourced from other countries – including China. As such, companies like Ioneer are working to beef up the domestic supply chain and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign countries of concern.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

“This draft analysis is the result of strong engagement and work with the proponent, Tribal Nations, State and local governments, and our agency partners,” said BLM Nevada State Director Jon Raby. “We know the importance of responsible mineral development in Nevada, and we look forward to hearing the public’s feedback on this draft assessment.”

We’ll have more on this project soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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