Sept 29 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto has
started making spodumene concentrate, a mineral mined for its
lithium content, at a plant in Quebec as the mining giant
doubles down on production of the electric-vehicle battery
"We are seeing strong interest in the market for a North
American supply of spodumene concentrate to support production
of lithium batteries," Stéphane Leblanc, managing director of
Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium, said.
The Quebec plant was commissioned in June and produced its
first ton of spodumene concentrate in July, according to the
Rio Tinto's lithium ventures have been in focus since its
$2.4 billion Jadar project in Serbia was blocked earlier this
year following protests sparked by environmental concerns about
a planned mine.
In December last year, the company acquired Rincon Mining
for $825 million to develop a large lithium brine project in the
heart of Argentina's "lithium triangle".
(Reporting by Ankit Kumar and Ruhi Soni; Editing by Shounak