Allens has advised Rio Tinto on its $40.4 million investment in Sovereign Metals Limited.
The deal sees Rio Tinto take an initial 15 per cent shareholding in Sovereign, providing assistance and advice on various aspects of the Kasiya rutile-graphite project in Malawi. Rutile is used in titanium dioxide production, while flake graphite can be converted to spherical purified graphite, a critical component of lithium-ion battery anodes.
Rio Tinto will also have the option to increase its shareholding up to 19.9 per cent within 12 months of the initial shareholding.
'Early stage critical minerals targets are increasingly attractive for investors as stakeholders seek to increase their footholds in critical minerals deposits around the world,' said co-lead Partner Richard Kriedemann.
'We congratulate Rio Tinto on its continued advancement of the critical minerals market and, in turn, the move to energy transition,' said co-lead Partner Igor Bogdanich.
The deal follows Rio Tinto's acquisition of the Platina Scandium Project, a high-grade scandium resource in NSW, on which Allens also advised.
Allens legal team
Richard Kriedemann (co-lead Partner), Igor Bogdanich (co-lead Partner), Bryn Hardcastle (Partner), Addison Ma (Senior Associate), Emma Morris (Senior Associate), Jesse Lines (Associate), Jasmyn Tran (Lawyer)