Rio Tinto achieves battery grade lithium production at Boron plant

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Rio Tinto has commenced production of battery-grade lithium from waste rock at a lithium demonstration plant at the Boron mine site in California, United States.

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

Rio Tinto Minerals chief executive Sinead Kaufman said “This is a valuable next step in scaling up our production of lithium at the Boron site, all from using waste material without the need for further mining. It shows the innovative thinking we are applying across our business to find new ways to meet the demand for emerging commodities like lithium, which are part of the transition to a low-carbon future.”

Development of the lithium project at Boron draws on Rio Tinto’s long standing partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI), which is focused on discovering ways to economically recover critical mineral by-products from existing refining and smelting processes. CMI experts worked alongside Rio Tinto technical leads to help solve a number of key processing challenges to produce battery grade lithium at Boron.

Link to full story: https://www.ameslab.gov/news/rio-tinto-commences-lithium-production-at-boron-mine-site-in-california