Rio Tinto says 60 Jadar mines wouldn’t fill looming lithium gap – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – October 21, 2021)

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) joined the rising chorus of companies and analysts warning of an imminent and “significant” supply gap for lithium, as demand for the metal used in electric vehicles (EV) and green technologies continues to soar.

The world’s second-largest miner, which greenlighted in July the $2.4 billion Jadar lithium project in Serbia, believes the supply gap needs to be addressed “within the next ten years.”

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Mining giant Rio Tinto’s control of Nechako River waterflow in B.C. challenged by local First Nations – by David Carrigg (Vancouver Sun – October 3, 2021)

Mining giant Rio Tinto’s control over the Nechako River watershed in Northern B.C. is being challenged by three impacted First Nations and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the regional district and the Saik’uz, Stellat’en and Nadleh Whut’en First Nations, the parties want to see a new water flow regime for the river “that benefits all people within the watershed,” plus the establishment of a new river governance regime.

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Rio Tinto Mismanagement Caused Mongolia Copper Mine’s Woes, Report Says – by Alistair MacDonald and Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – August 9, 2021)

An expert group examining the cause of a $1.4 billion cost overrun at a giant copper mine run by Rio Tinto RIO PLC in Mongolia said in a report that it was caused by mismanagement and not the unfavorable rock conditions blamed by the world’s second-largest miner.

The 157-page report, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, was commissioned by the owners of the Oyu Tolgoi mine— Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. and a Mongolian state-owned company—to examine why construction of an underground pit was delayed and costs rose.

Separately, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and British regulators are looking into whether Rio Tinto, which has a majority stake in Turquoise Hill, should have detailed problems at the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine to investors sooner, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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Ancient Sites, Sacred Snake Raise Risks for Australian Resources – by James Thornhill (Bloomberg News – July 29, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Sacred sites, endangered sawfish and mythical rainbow serpents are the latest challenges confronting commodities powerhouse Australia as the nation’s top mining companies meet for their biggest annual conference.

Since the destruction last year by Rio Tinto Group of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal rock shelter at Juukan Gorge, the industry has been scrambling to deal with a backlash over heritage protection and environmental issues.

A national enquiry into the incident and new laws being drafted by the Western Australia government could have an impact on some A$18 billion ($13 billion) in projects planned by mining giants operating in the Pilbara, the nation’s iron-ore heartland, as well as other resources projects.

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Column: Rio’s lithium project will test mining’s ESG credentials – by Andy Home (Reuters – July 29, 2021)

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto’s decision to invest $2.4 billion in developing the Jadar lithium mine in Serbia is big news. For the company with its heavy exposure to the iron ore sector, it’s a major strategic pivot to the fast evolving battery metals space.

For the lithium market, it marks the first entry of a big international mining company into what is a supply landscape dominated by specialty incumbents.

It’s hugely significant for Serbia, which is trying to attract investment to its mining sector, and it’s hugely important for the European Union, which has identified its Balkan neighbour as a key link in its mineral securities chain.

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News Release: Rio Tinto commits funding for Jadar lithium project (July 27, 2021)

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rio Tinto has committed $2.4 billion to the Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia, one of the world’s largest greenfield lithium projects. The project remains subject to receiving all relevant approvals, permits and licences and ongoing engagement with local communities, the Government of Serbia and civil society.

The Jadar project would scale up Rio Tinto’s exposure to battery materials, and demonstrate the company’s commitment to investing capital in a disciplined manner to further strengthen its portfolio for the global energy transition.

Jadar will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a critical mineral used in large scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy, and position Rio Tinto as the largest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years. In addition, Jadar will produce borates, which are used in solar panels and wind turbines.

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BHP pulls out in front as Rio Tinto flounders – by Rachael Knowles (National Indigenous Times – July 22, 2021)


BHP is leading the pack in iron ore mining as its competitor Rio Tinto continues to reel from fractured relationships with Traditional Owners in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Rio Tinto has seen a steep decline in their iron ore shipments from the Pilbara, with the mining giant reportedly having shipped 76.3 million tonnes in the June quarter, 12 per cent less than the same period in 2020.

The miner also reported total production was down 5 per cent for the first half of this year. With Rio Tinto behind the eight ball, BHP reported their sellings at $US158.15 a tonne in the first half of the year, ahead of Rio Tinto’s $US154.90 a tonne.

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Rio Tinto’s Mines Hit By Covid-19 Restrictions – by Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – July 16, 2021)

SYDNEY— Rio Tinto PLC said pandemic-related restrictions are affecting its mining operations from Australia to Mongolia, slowing iron-ore shipments, raising production costs and delaying projects.

The disruptions come as governments around the world grapple with the impact of higher commodity prices as the global economy bounces back from Covid-19 and spending on infrastructure rises. Several countries in South America and Europe have recently raised interest rates to counter inflation concerns.

Rio Tinto is the world’s second-largest mining company by market value, behind BHP Group Ltd. , and is a major supplier of commodities to countries including China and the U.S.

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WA must toughen laws after revelation Rio Tinto dumped priceless Indigenous artefacts, heritage expert says – by Lornea Allam (The Guardian – June 27, 2021)

One of Western Australia’s leading heritage experts says the government must toughen up its heritage laws in the wake of allegations that mining giant Rio Tinto allowed the dumping of priceless Aboriginal cultural materials and did not inform the traditional owners for 25 years.

Peter Veth, a senior archaeologist and heritage commentator who was involved in surveying of the artefacts, said new laws must ensure such a “traumatic” mistake cannot happen again.

“The state has to show leadership. It’s a really tough portfolio. It’s big money. And if they can’t get the compliance right in an area worth tens of billions of dollars – and of the Pilbara, which is one of the great heritage estates in the world – then we’re not a modern state. We’re locked in the 50s,” said Veth, a professor at the University of Western Australia.

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Australia’s Mining Hub Needs Workers for Boom Times – by James Thornhill (Bloomberg News – June 20, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Some A$140 billion ($105 billion) in projects in Western Australia’s resources sector may not be fully realized unless the state addresses a chronic shortage in skilled workers, according to a industry group.

From electricians to metallurgists, the industry needs to attract up to 40,000 extra workers over the next two years, according to the report from consultancy Pit Crew, commissioned by WA’s Chamber of Minerals and Energy. The CME called on industry and government to collaborate on ways to combat the shortages.

Rio Tinto Group in its March quarter production report said labor resource availability had disrupted its maintenance work in the state, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. reported in May that labor constraints had contributed to rising costs at its Iron Bridge growth project in the Pilbara.

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Reformed iron ore miners tipped to pay $65b dividend – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – May 12, 2021)

Rio Tinto and BHP are tipped to pass 95 per cent of the iron ore boom back to shareholders through dividends, as Anglo American and Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong became the lastest multinationals to flirt with the idea of building a new iron ore province in Australia’s mid-west.

Iron ore prices have surged 20 per cent above the 2011 record over the past fortnight and are dragging Australia’s biggest exporter, Rio, into a net cash position just 13 years after it was crippled with debt on the back of the disastrous $US38 billion Alcan acquisition.

Shareholder returns from Rio, BHP and Fortescue will be far more generous than in 2011, when the three miners had big plans to spend on growth and were carrying much bigger debt loads.

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Rio Tinto shareholders rebel against ex-chief executive’s £7.2m bonus – by Jillian Ambrose (The Guardian – May 6, 2021)

Rio Tinto’s shareholders have rebelled against the board’s decision to pay its outgoing chief executive his biggest ever pay packet despite overseeing the destruction of the sacred 46,000-year-old rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia.

Shareholders voted 61% against the miner’s remuneration policy, which handed a £7.2m pay packet to the disgraced former chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques for last year, a 20% rise on his total pay the year before, despite the Juukan Gorge scandal.

Jacques agreed to step down from the mining company “by mutual agreement” with Rio Tinto’s board last year after the miner blew up ancient rock shelters, which were highly significant to the area’s traditional owners, Indigenous Australians, so that it could mine better quality iron ore.

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Arizona mining fight pits economy, EVs against conservation, culture – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – April 19, 2021)

Early last year, Darrin Lewis paid $800,000 for a hardware store in a tiny Arizona town where mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RIO.L) hopes to build one of the world’s largest underground copper mines.

Rio buys materials from Lewis’s Superior Hardware & Lumber for its Resolution mine site, accounting for a third of the store’s sales and helping to keep it afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

But U.S. President Joe Biden put the mining project on hold last month in response to the concerns of Native Americans who say it will destroy sacred land and of environmentalists who worry it will gobble up water in a drought-stricken state.

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Rio Tinto produces battery grade lithium in the US – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 7, 2021)

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) has kicked off lithium production from waste rock at a plant located at a borates mine it controls in California.

The demonstration facility is the next step in scaling up a breakthrough lithium production process developed at the Boron mine. The method allows Rio Tinto to recover the critical mineral and extract additional value out of waste piles from over 90 years of mining at the operation.

An initial small-scale trial in 2019 successfully proved the process of roasting and leaching waste rock to recover high grades of the metal, vital in the production of batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and most high tech electronics.

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Class action against Rio Tinto over Oyu Tolgoi escalates – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 25, 2021)

A new claim filed in a US court on Thursday over Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) handling of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine expansion in Mongolia accuses the mining giant of concealing the real cause of the delays that have held back its most important growth project.

In a 163-page claim filed in New York, Pentwater Capital Management — the second-largest shareholder in Rio-controlled Turquoise Hill (TSX, NYSE: TRQ) — has included the testimony of 12 individuals who worked for Rio or its contractors and which could tip the balance against the miner.

The document cites defective Chinese steel, incompetent engineering and poor procurement as some of the “true” reasons behind the mine expansion’s massive cost increase and delays.

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