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Sibanye-Stillwater Limited announces joint venture with ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge

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Sibanye-Stillwater Limited announced that it has reached an agreement to enter into a 50/50 joint venture with ioneer, in respect to ioneer’s US-based Rhyolite Ridge project.

On Thursday, 16 September 2021, Sibanye-Stillwater Limited announced its agreement with ioneer Limited, to establish a 50/50 joint venture with respect to ioneer’s United States of America-based Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron project. Sibanye noted that following the satisfaction of all conditions related to the transaction, Sibanye-Stillwater will be contributing US$490 million for a 50 percent interest in the agreed joint venture. Ioneer will also be maintaining a 50 percent interest, as well as retaining the operational management responsibility for the joint venture.

In addition to this, Sibanye-Stillwater is said to have agreed to subscribe for a strategic placement of new ordinary shares in ioneer, equal to 7.1 percent of ioneer’s ordinary share capital post placement, for an amount of approximately US$70 million. The placement shares will be issued to Sibanye-Stillwater at an issue price of A$0.655 per share.

What are the particulars of the joint venture transaction?

Sibanye will contribute towards the direct funding of the newly formed joint venture, in exchange for 50 percent of the ordinary units. Sibanye’s investment and third party debt will fund the project into production, with ioneer contributing 100 percent of Rhyolite Ridge.

What is Sibanye’s rationale behind the investment with ioneer?

Sibanye is said to have identified ioneer as a partner and Rhyolite Ridge as a project aligned with the group’s strategy and the requirement for lithium in the United States. Sibanye and ioneer also share a strong cultural alignment and focus on ESG.

What are other terms of the joint venture?

Both Sibanye-Stillwater and ioneer can anticipate having equal board representation rights, with ioneer to be manager and operator of the joint venture. Sibanye and ioneer will also establish joint technical, marketing and ESG steering committees to assist Rhyolite Ridge’s development and operations.

Mahlohonolo Lakaje
[email protected]

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