Rio Tinto invests in European battery manufacturer
Rio Tinto announces that it will support the development of a battery ecosystem in Europe with an investment in Inobat Auto, a European-based battery technology and manufacturing company.
This investment will support the completion of InoBat’s research and development centre and pilot battery line in Voderady, Slovakia. The investment follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May, outlining an intention to work together to progress the establishment of a “cradle-to-cradle” electric vehicle battery value chain in Serbia. InoBat is a battery manufacturer with a research and development facility and pilot plant under development in Slovakia. The company is actively pursuing plans to build a number of gigafactories, including one in Serbia. Rio Tinto’s USD 2.4 billion Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia is one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in development. The Jadar project remains subject to receiving all relevant approvals, permits and licences and ongoing engagement with local communities, the Government of Serbia and civil society. Rio Tinto states in a press release that it has the potential to produce approximately 58 thousand tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate and position Rio Tinto as the largest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years. ”We are delighted to be able to deepen our partnership with InoBat through our investment and look forward to benefitting from a broader perspective of the battery materials sector, as well as insights into future battery chemistries and technologies,” Managing director of Rio Tinto’s battery materials business, Marnie Finlayson says in the press release “Our Jadar lithium project in Serbia is on the doorstep of the European electric vehicle market. Capable of producing enough lithium to make around one million electric vehicle batteries a year to the highest environmental standards, we believe Jadar will be a critical supplier of the European battery ecosystem and, through our investment in InoBat, we hope that we can assist in making some of those batteries locally.”