Source: Rio Tinto
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  • Mining giants Rio Tinto (RIO) to buy the Rincon lithium project in Argentina from Rincon Mining for $825 million
  • Rincon is a large undeveloped lithium brine project located in the heart of the so-called lithium triangle in the Salta Province
  • Riosaid this purchase shows its commitment to build its battery materials business and strengthen its portfolio for the global energy transition.
  • On the market this afternoon, Rio Tinto is down 2.25 per cent and trading at $99.12 per share

One of the world’s largest mining companies Rio Tinto (RIO) has agreed to buy the Rincon lithium project in Argentina from Rincon Mining for $825 million from Sentient Equity Partners.

Rincon is a large undeveloped lithium brine project located in the heart of the lithium triangle in the Salta Province.

The project has the potential to be one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry that can help deliver Rio Tinto’s commitment to decarbonising its portfolio.

Rio said the purchase shows the mining giants commitment to build its battery materials business and strengthen its portfolio for the global energy transition.

CEO Jakob Stausholm said the purchase is strongly aligned with its strategy to prioritise growth capital.

“The Rincon project holds the potential to deliver a significant new supply of battery grade lithium carbonate, to capture the opportunity offered by the rising demand driven by the global energy transition,” he said.

“It is expected to be a long life, low-cost asset that will continue to build the strength of our Battery Materials portfolio, with our combined lithium assets spanning the US, Europe and South America.”

Once purchased by Rio Tinto, the Rincon project will undertake studies to confirm a JORC Code.

The direct lithium extraction technology proposed for the project has the potential to significantly increase lithium recoveries as compared to solar evaporation ponds.

A pilot plant is currently running at the site and further work will focus on continuing to optimise the process and recoveries.

As the project is presently held by an Argentine branch of an Australian corporation, the deal is subject to clearance by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). The acquisition is scheduled to close in the first half of 2022, subject to FIRB clearance.

On the market this afternoon, Rio Tinto is down 2.25 per cent and is trading at $99.12 per share on 1:18 pm AEDT.

RIO by the numbers
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