The Ioneer Ltd (ASX: INR) share price is accelerating to a new record high on Monday. This comes despite no news coming out of the emerging lithium-boron company since late August.
At one point, Ioneer shares touched an all-time high of 65.5 cents during the first hour of morning trade. They’re currently slightly lower at 64.5 cents apiece, up 7.5%.
What’s driving the Ioneer share price higher?
Investors are buoyant on Ioneer shares following the company’s last release to the ASX on 24 August.
Ioneer revealed that it awarded a major engineering design and equipment supply contract to Veolia Water Technologies (Veolia).
Veolia Water, a subsidiary of the Veolia group, is a leading specialist in water treatment. The company designs and delivers drinking water and wastewater treatment plants as well as water treatment equipment.
The contract is for the final detailed engineering design for the development of Ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project. This also includes an equipment supply contract using evaporation, crystallisation and dewatering equipment.
Ioneer noted the award represents the single largest supplier package for the Rhyolite Ridge Project. It is also a major step forward in construction and development in the production of high-purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate.
Both Ioneer and Veolia have been working together since 2018 to demonstrate the feasibility of the process design. Veolia has conducted laboratory testing and simulated operations of key units consisting of clarification, ion exchange purification, evaporation and crystallisation.
Works are currently underway with planned commissioning of the plant expected sometime in the second half of FY24.
Are Ioneer shares a buy?
According to Canadian-based Canaccord Genuity, its analysts raised the price target for Ioneer shares by 8.3% to 65 cents. Based on the current share price, this implies an upside of almost 5% after factoring in today’s gains.
On valuation grounds, Ioneer presides a market capitalisation of roughly $1.2 billion, with approximately 1.9 billion shares on its registry.