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Rio Tinto gears up to invest in battery mineral projects

Rio Tinto's head of New Ventures and its lithium division, Andrew Latham, said that the company was "actively looking" to invest in metals which it expects to be impacted by the electric vehicle market, The Australian reported March 22.

Latham said the electric vehicle market is expected to have a positive impact on battery minerals, including tin, silver and tungsten, in addition to lithium, cobalt and nickel.

The mining giant may participate in the projects through equity investments, debt instruments, or off-take deals, with an initial focus on assets in Western Australia.

Meanwhile, the company's Jadar lithium-boron project in Serbia, expected to produce about 50,000 tonnes per annum with first production scheduled for 2020, has the potential to become a long-life project for the company, Latham said.