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Canada, Rio Tinto to invest in R&D, cutting emissions at Quebec plant

Jun 09, 2023

[1/6]Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne visit a pilot project of a blue smelting demonstration plant with Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jakob Stausholm and Sophie Bergeron, managing director at Rio Tinto Fer et... Read more

OTTAWA, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Canada and Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) will invest up to C$737 million ($533.6 million) over eight years to cut carbon emissions and expand research and development at a Quebec mineral processing plant, the government and company said on Tuesday.

The federal government will invest up to C$222 million, according to a statement. The Rio Tinto Fer et Titane facility, which currently processes titanium dioxide and scandium oxide in the town of Sorel-Tracy, employs 1,400 and will hire an additional 150 people with the new investments.

The investments are aimed at quadrupling the production of scandium oxide to 12 tonnes per year from 3 tonnes currently, a Rio Tinto spokesman said. Scandium is a critical mineral used to make lightweight aluminum alloys that help extend the range of electric vehicles (EVs).

The plant will also develop new techniques for smelting titanium dioxide, steel and metal powders with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by up to 70%, the company said in a statement.

"Today's announcement... cements Canada's position not only as the green supplier and responsible supplier of critical minerals, but also as a strategic partner of choice for our friends and allies around the world," Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said at a news conference.

Canada has budgeted billions of dollars to try to scale up critical mineral production to fuel domestic EV manufacturing as the globe pivots toward clean energy.

($1 = 1.3812 Canadian dollars)

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