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    RIO   GB0007188757

RIO TINTO PLC

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Rio Tinto Commits $2.4 Billion to Lithium Project in Serbia -- Commodity Comment

07/27/2021 | 10:53am EDT

By Robb M. Stewart

Rio Tinto PLC has committed $2.4 billion to a large lithium project in Serbia in a bid to beef up its exposure to battery minerals.

On the investment

The Jadar lithium-borates project will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a mineral used in large-scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy, as well as borates that are used in solar panels and wind turbines.

Rio Tinto said the project would position it as the largest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years, and will be one of the largest industrial investments in Serbia as well as a significant employer with the creation of 2,100 jobs during construction and 1,000 mining and processing jobs once in production.

The first saleable production is expected in 2026, which the British-Australian mining company said would be a time of strong market fundamentals with lithium demand forecast to grow 25%-35% a year over the next decade. Following ramp up to full production in 2029, the mine will produce 58,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate, 160,000 tons of boric acid and 255,000 tons of sodium sulphate annually, it said.

The Jadar development will include an underground mine with associated infrastructure and equipment, including electric haul trucks, as well as a chemical processing plant.

Rio Tinto said the project remains subject to receiving all relevant approvals, permits and licences and ongoing engagement with local communities and the government of Serbia. The next steps for the project are seeking an exploitation licence and receipt of regulatory approvals, it added.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

07-27-21 1253ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
RIO TINTO PLC -0.57% 4830.5 Delayed Quote.-11.69%
SILVER -0.67% 22.39 Delayed Quote.-14.41%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 65 708 M - -
Net income 2021 23 525 M - -
Net cash 2021 3 472 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 4,58x
Yield 2021 17,2%
Capitalization 109 B 109 B -
EV / Sales 2021 1,61x
EV / Sales 2022 1,97x
Nbr of Employees 47 500
Free-Float 65,3%
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Number of Analysts 23
Last Close Price 66,03 $
Average target price 82,54 $
Spread / Average Target 25,0%
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Managers and Directors
Jakob Stausholm Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Peter Lloyd Cunningham Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Simon Robert Thompson Chairman
Arnaud Soirat Chief Operating Officer
Megan Clark Independent Non-Executive Director
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