Emerging lithium-boron supplier ioneer has completed a technology system supply agreement with Caterpillar that solidifies the early introduction of Cat MineStar Command for hauling, autonomous haul system (AHS) at its Rhyolite Ridge project in Esmerelda County, Nevada.
The results of a feasibility study completed in early 2021 showed the viability of AHS at the planned mine and ioneer said the proposed application of AHS could positively impact the overall cost structure of the operation.
Rhyolite Ridge will be the first greenfield operation in North America to deploy AHS. It will also mark the expansion of Command for hauling automation technology to the 140-tonne Cat 785 next generation mining trucks.
All support equipment will feature the latest MineStar technology utilizing high-precision GPS and real-time analytics to maximize efficiency and accuracy in material loading.
Equipment, technology, and services for the first five years of operation is valued at approximately $100 million. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2024.
Located 14 miles northeast from Dyer, Nev., Rhyolite Ridge holds the largest known lithium and boron deposit in North America. In September 2021, ioneer entered a 50/50 joint venture agreement with Sibanye Stillwater Ltd to advance the project.