Rio Tinto’s stealth moves in WA lithium grab – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – September 18, 2023)

Rio Tinto has quietly entered the lithium land grab unfolding in Western Australia as it looks to secure its future in battery minerals, racking up exploration tenements spanning more than 145,000 hectares in the red-hot jurisdiction that has minted billionaires and fanned takeover battles.

The Australian Financial Review can reveal that Rio has claims covering more than 61,000 hectares close to the Kathleen Valley lithium project being developed by $6.6 billion takeover target Liontown Resources.

It is also in the process of shoring up almost 46,000 hectares of exploration ground directly north and to the south-east of the Mt Ida lithium project owned by Gina Rinehart and Chris Ellison-backed Delta Lithium.

Rio’s exploration activity – most of which is pending approval by WA authorities – means it is vying for a place alongside New York-listed Albemarle and Chile’s SQM to secure lithium assets essential to the global decarbonisation effort.

For the rest of this article: