Bureau of Land Management Begins Review of Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Mine

Public meetings will inform project review


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Tonopah Field Office

Media Contact:

TONOPAH, Nev. – Today, the Bureau of Land Management announced it will commence review of the proposed Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Mine Project. Lithium is one of the elements on the U.S. Geological Survey’s 2022 list of critical minerals and an important component of batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics.  

The proposed project by Ioneer Rhyolite Ridge LLC would be located within the Silver Peak Range in Esmerelda County, Nevada, approximately 40 miles southwest of Tonopah and 14 miles northeast of Dyer. The BLM will review the proposed construction, operation, reclamation, and closure of a surface quarry and associated facilities to mine lithium and boron.  

“The Bureau of Land Management welcomes input on this proposed project. We are committed to transparent engagement in this review process and will utilize the public comments received to inform development of the Environmental Impact Statement,” said Perry Wickham, Tonopah Field Manager

Rhyolite Ridge is one of the only two known global deposits of lithium-boron. It is also the location of the only known population of the Tiehm’s buckwheat plant, which was last week determined to be endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The purpose of the scoping process is to solicit public input on the proposed project including issues to be addressed and alternatives to be evaluated. The scoping meetings will provide an overview of the proposed project and the BLM’s environmental review process and provide information on how members of the public can submit formal scoping comments. 

Two public scoping meetings will be held online at 2:00 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST) January 4, and 5:00 PM PST January 5, 2023. Information and links to register for the meetings can be found on the project’s website at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2012309/510

No formal comments will be accepted during the online meetings, but public comments are being accepted via the website, email, and regular mail. All scoping comments must be received prior to the close of the 30-day scoping period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later, and should reference Rhyolite Ridge Mine in the subject line. 

Formal comments may be submitted in the following ways: 

For more information, contact Scott Distel, Project Manager, at 775-635-4093. Individuals in the United States who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability may dial 7-1-1 (TYY, TDD, or TeleBraille) to access telecommunication relay services. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.