The Ioneer Ltd (ASX: INR) share price is having a stellar week, up 16% since Monday. Shares in the rare earth explorer rocketed up 11% to 33.5 cents yesterday as the company announced that it has made inroads into supplying the booming EV sector.
In trading today, the Ioneer share price has dropped 2.99% down to a price of 32.5 cents at the time of writing.
What Ioneer does
Ioneer is a rare earth explorer, located predominantly in the US. It is the 100% owner of Rhyolite Ridge in the Nevada desert. Ioneer claims this to be the only lithium-boron deposit in North America and one of only two such deposits in the world.
Ioneer’s feasibility study completed in April 2020 confirmed Rhyolite as a “world class” lithium and boron site. The company expects the mine to become a “globally significant, long-life, low-cost source of lithium and boron”.
What’s driving the Ioneer share price?
The company advised yesterday that its metallurgy and process engineering team successfully converted lithium carbonate produced at its pilot plant. The team was able to turn the lithium into battery grade lithium hydroxide essential in electric vehicles.
Moving forward, the company remains highly focused on securing off take agreements for its lithium products, having already agreed binding deals for its boric acid.
The ability to manufacture both lithium carbonate and hydroxide places the company apart from other producers, such as Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS), Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) and Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX: PLL).
Ioneer managing director Bernard Rowe welcomed the news, stating:
Rhyolite Ridge will be well-positioned to meet both North American and global demand for Lithium carbonate and battery grade lithium hydroxide.
As the premier US project, Ioneer will be uniquely situated to supply the future US electric vehicle platforms of automotive OEMs. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence predicts that US demand for lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide could exceed 344kt by 2025 with nearly no domestic supply.
The company also noted that the Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) Gigafactory is located just 203 miles northwest of the project site.
Despite falling today, the Ioneer share price has gained a whopping 76% year to date.