Rio Tinto backs lithium project with $200m funding

The Anglo-Australian mining corporation Rio Tinto has announced $200 million (£152m) of funding for the development of a lithium project in Serbia.

The project, which has the potential to produce end-industrial products for lithium batteries for EVs and energy storage facilities, is located in the Western Serbian city of Loznica and will include an underground mine and an industrial processing facility.

The funding will support the feasibility study, including the completion of detailed engineering designs, as well as permitting and land acquisition by the end of 2021,

Rio Tinto Energy and Minerals Chief Executive Bold Baatar said: “Rio Tinto’s lithium project pipeline is an important part of our vision to pursue opportunities which are part of the transition to a low-carbon future.”

Rio Tinto has also started work on the commissioning of its lithium demonstration plant in the US, which is extracting lithium from waste rock – this project is estimated to produce 10 tonnes per year of lithium-carbonate needed in rechargeable batteries for EVs and consumer electronics.

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