Rio Tinto partners with InoBat to explore innovative lithium battery initiative
Rio Tinto and InoBat, a European battery technology and manufacturing company, have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to accelerate the establishment of a cradle to cradle battery manufacturing and recycling value chain in Serbia. The partnership will cover the full lifecycle of commodities, from lithium mining to recycling.
Rio Tinto’s Jadar project in Serbia, one of the largest lithium production projects in development, has the potential to produce around 55,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate in Europe, one of the largest vehicle markets. electric power plants in the world. InoBat, a European-based battery manufacturer with a battery research and development facility and a pilot plant under development in Slovakia, intends to increase future production, with gigafactories that will be built in the region. EMEA. InoBat’s goal is to serve the European market with innovative energy solutions, including the production and recycling of electric vehicle batteries.
Rio Tinto’s Managing Director of Borates and Lithium, Marnie Finlayson said: “This collaboration with InoBat will enable an important exchange of knowledge and information on lithium processing, recycling and technologies for the next generation of batteries. This is a visionary initiative and aligned with Rio Tinto’s commitment to partnerships that provide solutions to tackle climate change.
It is envisioned that the collaboration between Jadar and InoBat will also encourage the development of a comprehensive European value chain for lithium batteries and for electric vehicles that will harness and improve local skills, environmental, social and governance standards and interactions. cross-border for the benefit of Serbia and other European economies wishing to collaborate.
Marian Bocek, CEO of InoBat Auto, said: “The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Rio Tinto represents an important step in achieving InoBat’s goal of using a European value chain and supporting the European candidacy for technological independence. Our unique ‘cradle to cradle’ approach covers the entire battery life cycle, from mining to recycling, to support circular economy efforts and the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030. ”
In 2020, Rio Tinto approved an investment of nearly US $ 200 million to complete the final phase of the Jadar project study, which is expected to be finalized in 2021, with an investment decision to follow. The scale and high-grade nature of the Jadar deposit offers a mine the potential to deliver lithium products into the electric vehicle value chain for decades. If approved, building a mine to the highest environmental standards would take up to four years and represent a significant investment for Serbia with direct and indirect economic benefits for the Serbian economy.