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Rio Tinto buys Argentina-based lithium project for $825m

By Mensholong Lepcha

02:09, 22 December 2021

Rio Tinto regional headquarters in Perth, Australia
Rio Tinto regional headquarters in Perth, Australia – Photo: Shutterstock

Global miner Rio Tinto said it bought a lithium brine project located in Argentina for $825m amid strong demand for the mineral used to make batteries for electric vehicles.

Rio Tinto said the deal to buy the undeveloped Argentina-based Rincon lithium project from Rincon Mining is expected to be completed by the first half of 2022.

“The Rincon project holds the potential to deliver a significant new supply of battery-grade lithium carbonate, to capture the opportunity offered by the rising demand driven by the global energy transition,” added Rio Tinto’s chief executive Jakob Stausholm.

Rio Tinto down in Australia

On Wednesday, Australian Securities Exchange-listed shares in Rio Tinto fell 1.8% to AUD99.60 by midday, in line with weakness in the broader Australian market during the session.

Rio Tinto said the Rincon lithium project will be subject to completion of studies to confirm the resource and work will be undertaken to determine the development strategy and secure permits to allow production.


15,935.50 Price
+0.420% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 1.8

Oil - Crude

71.78 Price
-0.690% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0227%
Short position overnight fee 0.0007%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.030


44,269.90 Price
+0.770% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00


2,022.62 Price
+0.170% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0197%
Short position overnight fee 0.0115%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.30

The company proposed to use the direct lithium extraction technology, which has the potential to “significantly increase lithium recoveries as compared to solar evaporation ponds” according to Rio Tinto, for the newly acquired project.

Strong demand

“The market fundamentals for battery grade lithium carbonate are strong, with lithium demand forecast to grow 25% to 35% per annum over the next decade with a significant supply demand deficit expected from the second half of this decade,” said Rio Tinto in a statement.

“This acquisition is strongly aligned with our strategy to prioritise growth capital in commodities that support decarbonisation and to continue to deliver attractive returns to shareholders,” added Stausholm.

Read more: Lockdown effect on energy prices offset by vaccine protection

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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