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Rio Tinto makes a strategic investment in Nano One, a Canadian clean technology innovator in battery materials

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(Kitco News) - According to a statement released today, Nano One® Materials (TSX: NANO) and Rio Tinto have agreed to enter into a strategic partnership providing iron and lithium products, collaboration and a US$10M investment into Nano One.

Nano One, a clean technology innovator in battery materials, said that this partnership and funding will accelerate Nano One's multi-cathode (multi-CAM) commercialization strategy and support cathode active materials (CAM) manufacturing in Canada “…for a cleaner and more efficient battery supply chain for North American and overseas markets.”

The company added that Rio Tinto has made a strategic equity investment into Nano One for gross proceeds of US$10M, equivalent to C$12,536,500. On closing, Nano One will issue a total of 4,643,148 common shares, approximately 4.9% of the current issued and outstanding shares of Nano One, at C$2.70 per share in a non-brokered private placement.

The company said that this investment will be directed towards technology and supply chain development, commercialization, Nano One's acquisition of the Candiac facility in Québec (announced 25 May 2022 pending completion), its conversion to One-Pot lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and industrial scale piloting of other Nano One CAM technologies, and for working capital purposes.

Importantly, Rio Tinto and Nano One will on closing, enter into a strategic collaboration agreement that includes a study of Rio Tinto's battery metal products, including iron powders from the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane facility in Sorel-Tracy, Québec, as feedstock for the production of Nano One's cathode materials.

Rio Tinto said it will also contribute know-how from its Critical Minerals and Technology Centre, which has developed a unique expertise in the extraction and processing of critical minerals such as lithium and scandium, as well as minerals from Canada, the United States, and other international sources to further drive localization of the lithium ion battery value chain.


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Dan Blondal, CEO of Nano One, commented, "The global transition to a low-carbon electrified economy will require millions of tonnes of battery materials, so it is critically important to produce these materials efficiently and with the lowest environmental footprint. Rio Tinto's partnership and support complement our recent announcement to acquire Johnson Matthey's LFP business in the nearby community of Candiac, Québec and amplifies the Government of Canada's Mines-to-Mobility initiative, which aims to encourage a localized battery ecosystem to serve the broader North American market."

According to a press-release, Nano One® Materials Corp (Nano One) is a clean technology company with a patented, scalable and low carbon intensity industrial process for the low-cost production of high-performance lithium-ion battery cathode materials.

Rio Tinto has a long history in Québec, Canada where it operates significant aluminium, iron and titanium businesses. Rio Tinto is building a leading battery materials business, with three lithium projects in development across the United States, Argentina and Serbia.

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