Rio Tinto has completed the acquisition of the Rincon lithium project in Argentina for $825 million.
Rincon Mining is a corporation controlled by funds managed by private equity firm Sentient Equity Partners.
Rincon is a huge undeveloped lithium brine project in Argentina’s Salta Province, which is becoming a hub for greenfield projects because of its location in the core of the lithium triangle.
The project is a long-term, scalable resource capable of manufacturing lithium carbonate for battery applications. It has the potential to be one of the industry’s least carbon-intensive products.
“Rincon strengthens our battery materials business and positions Rio Tinto to meet the double-digit growth in demand for lithium over the next decade, at a time when supply is constrained,” said Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm in a media release.
“We will be working with local communities, the Province of Salta and the Government of Argentina as we develop this project to the highest ESG standards.”
The direct lithium extraction technology proposed for the project has the potential to greatly boost lithium recoveries.
According to the official announcement, a pilot plant is currently operating on the site, and future development will focus on further optimizing the process and recovery rates.
The deal was announced in December 2021.