Utilizing ABB Ability™ MineOptimize approach to extract lithium and boron in a low-cost and environmentally sustainable manner

Lithium is critical to drive a sustainable future. It is a necessary mineral to develop electric vehicles and renewable energy supply chain infrastructure. ioneer awarded ABB a major contract to support the development of the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-Boron Project in Nevada, US. one of two such deposits in the world.

Location: Nevada, US
Customer: ioneer

Australian-listed ioneer Ltd., an emerging lithium-boron supplier committed to becoming an important producer of materials necessary for a sustainable future. The contract is part of a development program at the customer’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada, US, the only known lithium-boron deposit in North America. It is expected to become a globally significant, long-life, cost-effective source of lithium and boron vital to a sustainable future.

  • Support the development of ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada, US, the only known lithium-boron deposit in North America and one of two such deposits in the world.

“The contract with ABB is one of the more significant supply packages we have awarded at Rhyolite Ridge and represents another step in the development of the project.”

  • ABB will utilize its ABB Ability™ Mine Optimize approach towards integrated solutions to drive optimization and digital transformation of mining from the outset.

“The Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project represents an opportunity for the US and the world to ensure the supply of the minerals needed to successfully transition to sustainable transport and we’re proud to be part of it.”

  • Contract includes project management, engineering and the supply of power and automation system and electrical distribution.


  • Deal marks a significant step in the the development of ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Nevada, US. 

Bernard Rowe, Managing Director at ioneer.
Joachim Braun, President of ABB’s Process Industries Division.

From initial feasibility studies through to full deployment

Under the contract, ABB will commence work on systems engineering and optimization for the equipment packages, which include a steam turbine generator, medium and low voltage electrical distribution, power management and plant-wide process automation and instrumentation systems for the power generation, acid and lithium-boron processing plants.

ABB will use its comprehensive ABB Ability™ MineOptimize approach and portfolio of optimized engineering, products and systems, electrification and automation solutions, digital applications and remote services. MineOptimize integrates individual mining solutions into a connected and structured plant-wide system to optimize all stages in the lifecycle – from design and build to operation and service – of any open-pit or underground mine and minerals processing plant. This approach helps mining companies optimize CAPEX and maximize productivity, sustainability and safety. 

Enhancing the US’s critical mineral supply chains is a focus of the US federal government to foster growth in the clean energy economy, like electric vehicles that rely on lithium for batteries. ioneer and ABB are both founding members of the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) which is an industry coalition advocating for policies to encourage adoption of electric vehicles in the US.

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