Electric car charging

Charging up the battery market

We’re scaling up and working smarter to meet demand for renewables

Last updated: 15 September 2022


As electric vehicles (EVs), renewable power sources and home energy storage become more affordable and widely adopted, the world will need more of the minerals and metals that make these technologies work.

To help us meet this growing need, in 2021 we launched a new Battery Materials business, which will see us add essential minerals like lithium, nickel and tellurium to our product portfolio.

But sourcing, mining and producing these rare minerals at the scale needed to meet future demand is no mean feat. Here are some of the ways we’re working to meet this in a responsible way.

Marnie Finlayson

Talking lithium

In a recent episode of the Global Lithium podcast, Rio Tinto’s Managing Director of Battery Materials, Marnie Finlayson, discussed our vision and strategy for battery materials, our role in the energy transition and our outlook for the lithium market.

Listen now >

Scaling up responsibly

One way we’re working to meet growing demand for high-quality materials is finding promising new projects to scale up responsibly.

With its direct extraction technology, our new Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina is helping us achieve that. It’s a large, scalable, undeveloped lithium-brine project that’s capable of producing battery-grade lithium carbonate with potentially one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry.

We’re also partnering with Talon Metals on a joint venture at Tamarack – the only high-grade nickel, copper and cobalt project in the US, located in central Minnesota.

Extracting value from waste

The way we produce our materials can have just as much of an impact on the energy transition as what we produce. But we can reduce the impact of our activities by reusing and recycling as much as possible at every stage of our process.

At our technology centre in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, Canada, we’ve found a way to get scandium  – another critical mineral – from titanium dioxide production waste. Scandium is an essential material in technologies such as EV batteries and solid oxide fuel cells.

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