Jun 09, 2022 (ACCESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / June 9, 2022 / /zigman2/quotes/204489325/delayed CA:NANO +0.29% (otc pink:NNOMF)(fra:LBMB)
Rio Tinto makes US$10M strategic equity investment in Nano One.
Rio Tinto to collaborate on battery metals as inputs for Nano One's cathode process technologies.
Partnership accelerates commercialization of Nano One's One-Pot and M2CAM® technologies.
Adds to Government of Canada's Mines-to-Mobility initiative for North American battery ecosystem.
Québec focus on Rio Tinto's iron production in Sorel-Tracy and Nano One's pending LFP facility in Candiac.
Nano One® Materials Corp. (" Nano One " or the "Company"), a clean technology innovator in battery materials, and Rio Tinto, a leading global mining and metals group, have agreed to enter into a strategic partnership providing iron and lithium products, collaboration and a US$10M investment into Nano One. This partnership and funding will accelerate Nano One's multi-cathode (multi-CAM) commercialization strategy and support cathode active materials (CAM) manufacturing in Canada for a cleaner and more efficient battery supply chain for North American and overseas markets.
Dan Blondal,CEOof Nano One said "The global transition to a low-carbon electrified economy will require millions of tonnes of battery materials, so it is critically important to produce these materials efficiently and with the lowest environmental footprint. Rio Tinto's partnership and support complement our recent announcement to acquire Johnson Matthey's LFP business in the nearby community of Candiac, Québec and amplifies the Government of Canada's Mines-to-Mobility initiative, which aims to encourage a localized battery ecosystem to serve the broader North American market. Rio Tinto brings deep experience in high volume production and technology commercialization, as well as a growing battery metals business. We are excited to be partnering with Rio Tinto, our shared vision will see many opportunities for collaboration as we drive for change."
Nano One's patented One Pot Process and metal to cathode active material (M2CAM) technologies form a unique manufacturing platform that enables nickel-rich (NMC), iron-rich (LFP) and manganese-rich (LNMO) lithium-ion cathode active materials to be made sulfate-free from a range of battery metal sources with fewer steps, lower costs, less complexity and a much smaller environmental footprint. The technology applies to all lithium-ion battery chemistries for applications in electric vehicles, renewable energy storage and portable electronics.
Strategic Equity Investment
Rio Tinto has made a strategic equity investment into Nano One for gross proceeds of US$10M, equivalent to C$12,536,500. On closing, Nano One will issue a total of 4,643,148 common shares (the "Shares"), approximately 4.9% of the current issued and outstanding Shares of Nano One, at C$2.70 per Share (the "Issue Price") in a non-brokered private placement. This investment will be directed towards technology and supply chain development, commercialization, Nano One's acquisition of the Candiac facility in Québec (announced 25 May 2022 pending completion), its conversion to One-Pot lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and industrial scale piloting of other Nano One CAM technologies, and for working capital purposes.
Provisions of the investment agreement with Rio Tinto include participation rights in any future equity financings to maintain pro rata ownership interest for a period of five years from the date of closing; a lock up on securities dispositions and a standstill for a period of 12 months from the date of closing, subject to certain exemptions.
"Canada has positioned itself as a global leader in critical minerals and batteries, and with partnerships like the one we see here today with Nano One, Rio Tinto and our government, we continue to see the growing success of the Canadian electric vehicle battery market. Throughout recent years, our government has supported Nano One with over $10 million in funding to help bring their unique innovation to market, doubling down on Canadian innovation and Canadian workers' expertise in the critical minerals sector." saidThe Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Strategic Collaboration Agreement
Rio Tinto and Nano One will on closing, enter into a strategic collaboration agreement that includes a study of Rio Tinto's battery metal products, including iron powders from the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane facility in Sorel-Tracy, Québec, as feedstock for the production of Nano One's cathode materials. Rio Tinto will contribute know-how from its Critical Minerals and Technology Centre, which has developed a unique expertise in the extraction and processing of critical minerals such as lithium and scandium, as well as minerals from Canada, the United States, and other international sources to further drive localization of the lithium ion battery value chain.
Rio Tinto will collaborate on technical and business matters as may be required in developing, designing, constructing and operating cathode production facilities. Nano One will issue to Rio Tinto 1,000,000 non-transferrable Share purchase warrants (a "Warrant") as consideration for their technical and support services. Each Warrant shall entitle Rio Tinto to purchase one Share at an exercise price of C$4.00 for a period of 12 months from the date of issuance.
Marnie Finlayson, Managing Director of Rio Tinto's Battery Materials portfolio added, "L ocalized, clean and secure supply chains are critical for the success of the energy transition that is now underway and this requires partnerships with innovative companies like Nano One to help us differentiate, disrupt and accelerate the path to a net-zero future. We are pleased to back and support Nano One's ambitions to drive for change and we look forward to bringing Rio Tinto's deep experience and know-how in commercialization and large scale projects to this exciting initiative."
"Critical minerals are a generational opportunity for Canada, and our government is committed to developing an end-to-end Canadian battery supply chain, from exploration to recycling. This is why the partnership between Nano One and Rio Tinto is so promising - it's an example of the collaboration we need to develop a globally competitive supply chain that will position Canada to lead in the global energy transition. By leveraging Canada's wealth of critical minerals and our skilled workforce, we can create good jobs, drive clean growth and ensure economic opportunities for communities across the country," said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.