Rio Tinto invests in battery manufacturer InoBat

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Rio Tinto has announced an investment in Slovakian battery manufacturer Inobat Auto.

Through the investment, the mining giant will support the completion of InoBat’s research and development centre and pilot battery line in Voderady, Slovakia.

It will also support the construction of a battery giga-factory in Serbia, where Rio Tinto is developing its Jadar Project for production of battery grade lithium carbonate.

The $2.4 billion Jadar Project is one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in development that has the potential to produce approximately 55 thousand tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate in Europe.

”We are delighted to be able to deepen our partnership with InoBat through our investment and look forward to benefitting from a broader perspective of the battery materials sector, as well as insights into future battery chemistries and technologies,” said Managing director of Rio Tinto’s battery materials business, Marnie Finlayson.

“Our Jadar lithium project in Serbia is on the doorstep of the European electric vehicle market. Capable of producing enough lithium to make around one million electric vehicle batteries a year to the highest environmental standards, we believe Jadar will be a critical supplier of the European battery ecosystem and, through our investment in InoBat, we hope that we can assist in making some of those batteries locally.”

The two companies inked a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2021 to collaborate on the establishment of a “cradle to cradle” battery manufacturing and recycling value chain in Serbia.

“InoBat is thrilled to further partner with Rio Tinto. Our mission has always been to provide solutions across the entire value chain – a cradle-to-cradle approach, which showcases the concept of the circular economy and will support Europe’s bid for technological independence,” said Marian Bocek, Chief executive officer of InoBat Auto.

“Side-by-side with Rio Tinto, we are looking forward to further developing our manufacturing capacities and working closely on the downstream development of a battery ecosystem with common decarbonisation efforts at its core.”

Image credit: https://www.riotinto.com/invest/shareholder-information