Rio Tinto confirmed it will acquire the Platina scandium project in New South Wales, Australia, from Platina Resources Limited for A$14 million.

The project near Condobolin in the central region of the state has the capacity to produce up to 40 tonnes per annum of scandium oxide for an estimated 30 years.

Rio Tinto currently produces scandium oxide from titanium dioxide production waste streams at Sorel-Tracy in Quebec. Once operational, Platina would enable the miner to more than double its annual scandium production.

Rio Tinto Minerals chief executive Sinead Kaufman said: “This acquisition supports our commitment to critical minerals and finding better ways to provide materials the world needs.

“It will enable us to further develop and grow with the global scandium market, complementing our existing scandium production in Quebec, where we have the expertise, technology and capacity to produce pure, highly reliable scandium through sustainable methods.”

Scandium is considered to be a versatile, useful mineral for the green economy and energy transition; it has already been classified as a critical mineral by the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries.

Scandium is one of the most effective elements able to strengthen aluminium, while also offering improved flexibility and resistance to heat and corrosion.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

Source: Rio Tinto | Global