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Rio Tinto partners with InoBat on lithium battery initiative in Serbia

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(Kitco News) - Rio Tinto announced today that the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with InoBat, a European battery technology and manufacturing company, to work together to accelerate the establishment of a "cradle to cradle" battery manufacturing and recycling value chain in Serbia.

The company said that the partnership will cover the full commodity life-cycle from mining through to recycling of lithium.

Rio Tinto owns Jadar project in Serbia, one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in development, which has the potential to produce approximately 55 thousand tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate in Europe, one of the world's largest growing electric vehicles markets.

In 2020, Rio Tinto approved an investment of almost US$200 million to complete the final phase of study at the Jadar project, which is expected to be finalised in 2021, with an investment decision to follow. If approved, construction of a mine would take up to four years and would be a significant investment for Serbia with direct and indirect economic benefits to the Serbian economy, the company said.

InoBat, a European based battery manufacturer with a battery research and development facility and pilot plant being developed in Slovakia, intends to scale up its future production through gigafactories to be built in the EMEA region. InoBat's goal is to serve the Europen market with innovative energy solutions, including production and recycling of electric vehicle batteries.

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