Rio Tinto has agreed to pay $825 million for the Rincon lithium project in Argentina, which is owned by Rincon Mining, 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 due to its location in the core of the lithium triangle.
The project is a long-term, scaleable resource capable of generating lithium carbonate for batteries.
It has the potential to have one of the smallest carbon footprints in the industry, helping Rio Tinto meet its goal of decarbonizing its portfolio.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said by this acquisition further demonstrated the company’s commitment to growing its battery materials business and strengthening its portfolio for the global energy revolution.
“This acquisition is strongly aligned with our strategy to prioritise growth capital in commodities that support decarbonisation and to continue to deliver attractive returns to shareholders,” Mr Stausholm said.
“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.
“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.”