Rio Tinto has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the Platina Scandium Project, a high-grade scandium resource in New South Wales, Australia, from Platina Resources Ltd. for $14 million.

The project comprises a long-life, high-grade scalable resource that could produce up to 40 metric tons per year of scandium oxide, for an estimated period of 30 years.

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

This acquisition aligns with Rio Tinto’s strategic goal to grow in materials essential for the low-carbon transition.

Scandium is one of the most effective elements able to strengthen aluminum, while also offering improved flexibility and resistance to heat and corrosion. As a result, it is used to produce high-performance aluminum alloys for applications that need to be light, strong and heat-resistant.