Rio Tinto flags cost hike at Argentina lithium project – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 19, 2023)

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON: RIO) has flagged a likely cost estimate and schedule review for its Rincon lithium project in Argentina’s Salta Province, an emerging hub for greenfield projects.

The world’s second largest miner, which released an operational update for the three months to June 30 on Tuesday, said the $140 million cost estimate and schedule to develop a starter plant at Rincon was under review in response to cost escalation.

Rio Tinto noted that development work continues as usual with the company advancing construction of the camp and ongoing enabling works for the processing plant. The world’s second-largest miner has sped up efforts in the past three years to boost its exposure to battery minerals.

After seeing its lithium ambitions partially crushed when Serbia revoked the miner’s licence for a $2.4 billion project in early 2022, Rio Tinto began looking elsewhere.

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