Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) invests $10 million in Nano One materials for major Canadian battery metals partnership
Mining companies are increasing their investments in battery technologies and the extraction of metals from batteries. Due to the increase in the number of electric vehicles and other battery-powered devices, the demand for these materials is expected to increase. Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), one of the world’s largest mining companies, has invested $10 million in Nano One Materials, a Canadian company developing new battery technologies. The investment will be used to buy the Candiac plant in Quebec and will give Rio Tinto a 4.9% stake in Nano One. Nano One will issue 4.6 million shares at C$2.70 in a non-brokered private placement.
Following the transaction, Nano One will acquire the Candiac plant in Quebec, Canada. The investment will also be used for working capital, marketing, technology and supply chain development purposes. The investment represents a partnership that will go beyond the simple purchase of the installation. The companies will study Rio Tinto’s battery metal products, including iron powders from its Fer et Titane plant in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. Then Nano One can use these iron powders as part of its raw material to make cathode materials.
Nano One CEO Dan Blondal said: “The global transition to an electrified, low-carbon economy will require millions of tonnes of battery materials, so it is extremely important to produce these materials efficiently and with the lower environmental footprint. Rio Tinto’s partnership and support complements our recently announced acquisition of Johnson Matthey’s LFP business in the nearby community of Candiac, Quebec, and amplifies the Government of Canada’s Mining to Mobility initiative, which aims to encourage a localized battery ecosystem to serve all of North America. market.”
Rio Tinto will also partner with Nano One on its technical and commercial issues related to the design, development, construction and operation of the cathode facilities. Both companies bring expertise from both sides of the supply chain. In return, Rio Tinto will bring its expertise from the company’s Critical minerals and Technology Center to the partnership, to support the manufacture of cathode active materials in Canada.
Cathodes are an essential component of lithium-ion batteries and the use of Rio Tinto products will help Nano One improve performance and reduce the cost of its cathode materials. This is an important step in the development of new battery technologies that can be used in a variety of applications, including electric vehicles.
Marnie Finlayson, Rio Tinto Battery Materials Portfolio Managing Director, said: “Localized, clean and secure supply chains are critical to the success of the ongoing energy transition and this requires partnerships with innovative companies like Nano One to help us differentiate, disrupt and accelerate the path to a net zero future.
Partnerships like this are critical to the development of new battery technologies and the growth of the electric vehicle market. With the increase in demand for these materials, it is important to have a safe and reliable supply chain. These types of partnerships will help ensure a steady supply of battery metals and that new technologies can be developed quickly and efficiently.