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    RIO   GB0007188757

RIO TINTO PLC

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Rio Tinto gives go-ahead to $2.4 bln Serbia lithium project

07/27/2021 | 01:18pm EDT

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it would invest $2.4 billion to develop its Jadar lithium project in Serbia, bringing forward an investment decision that was expected later in 2021, as demand for electric vehicle batteries is on the rise.

The Anglo-Australian miner expects construction to start in 2022 and last four years, subject to regulatory approvals.

Lithium is a vital ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, and automakers, including BMW, Volkswagen and leader Tesla Inc, are increasingly looking to secure direct access to raw materials via partnerships with mining companies to avoid bottlenecks and keep plants at full capacity.

One in every nine new cars sold in Europe last year was an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Jadar is in the western Serbian city of Loznica and was discovered in 2004. It will include an underground mine and onsite processing facility that will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, also used for storing renewable energy. It will also mine borates, used in solar panels and wind turbines.

Jadar is slated to position Rio as the largest lithium supplier in Europe for at least the next 15 years, the company said in a release ahead of its financial results on Wednesday.

"Serbia and Rio Tinto will be well-positioned to capture the opportunity offered by rising demand for lithium, driven by the global energy transition," said Chief Executive Officer Jakob Stausholm, adding that the company would supply enough lithium to power over 1 million electric vehicles per year.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil, Clara Denina, Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Aditya Soni and Steve Orlofsky)


ę Reuters 2021
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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 26 668 M 26 668 M -
EV / Sales 2021 0,35x
EV / Sales 2022 0,45x
Nbr of Employees 47 500
Free-Float 65,3%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
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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