Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) shares are enjoying a Santa rally of their own this month. Here's why

Let's look at what might be driving the Rio Tinto share price lately.

| More on:
A miner in a hardhat makes a sale on his tablet in the field.

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price has performed well during December so far.

Since finishing November trading at $93.50, the company's stock has gained 5.66%.

As of Wednesday's close, the Rio Tinto share price is $98.80.

Let's take a look at what might have helped boost the resources giant's shares lately.

What's driving the Rio Tinto share price lately?

The Rio Tinto share price has likely been buoyed amid news of two major lithium projects this month.

The first, the $3.3 billion Jadar project, is reportedly facing continuous challenges. However, Rio is set to acquire the other, the Rincon lithium project in Argentina.

Rio Tinto announced its intention to purchase the Rincon project for around $1.15 billion last week. The project is capable of producing battery-grade lithium and is located in the South American country's 'lithium triangle'.

Unfortunately, reports of the Jadar project aren't so encouraging. While Rio Tinto hasn't released news of the project to the ASX, it has been the subject of media speculation.

Earlier this month, it was reported that authorities in Serbia – where the Jadar project is located – had halted the project's approvals following major protests where locals voiced concerns about the mine's environmental impact.

Since then, the managing director of the company's Serbian subsidiary reportedly told a local media outlet that Rio Tinto intends to halt works at the project to engage with the local community.  

Also likely driving Rio Tinto's stock this month is the growing price of iron ore. According to data from CNBC, the price of the commodity is 18% higher than it was at the end of November.

The company also announced the successor of its chair in December. Rio Tinto's current chair Simon Thompson will step down from the role in May. Former McKinsey and Company global managing partner Dominic Barton will replace him.

Despite its December gains, the Rio Tinto share price is still in the red long term. Right now, it is around 14% lower than it was at the start of 2021.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on Resources Shares

two men in hard hats and high visibility jackets look together at a laptop screen that one of the men in holding at a mine site.
Resources Shares

ASX 200 mining giants' copper project cops setback

BHP and Rio Tinto are struggling to get the go-ahead for a US copper mine.

Read more »

Miner and company person analysing results of a mining company.
Resources Shares

Why aren't big fund managers buying Fortescue shares?

ASX experts are reportedly shunning this popular miner...

Read more »

Man pointing at a blue rising share price graph.
Share Gainers

Guess which little ASX iron ore stock is surging 68% on big news

Investors are bidding up the iron ore miner following a promising project update.

Read more »

a man in a hard hat and overalls raises his arms and holds them out wide as he smiles widely in an optimistic and welcoming gesture.
Resources Shares

This ASX mining services stock is exploding 65% on takeover news

Only one set of shareholders will be smiling on Tuesday.

Read more »

Miner looking at his notes.
Resources Shares

Own BHP shares? Here's what the miner could look like in 2028

Let’s dig into how things might change in the next four years.

Read more »

Female South32 miner smiling with mining machinery in the background.
Resources Shares

How this 'game-changing' technology could boost Rio Tinto shares

Rio Tinto is embracing space age technology to increase its growth prospects.

Read more »

a mine worker holds his phone in one hand and a tablet in the other as he stands in front of heavy machinery at a mine site.
Resources Shares

Goldman Sachs says this ASX 200 mining share is in for a 33% whack

The top broker predicts a fairly miserable 12 months ahead for this diversified miner.

Read more »

Female miner in hard hat and safety vest on laptop with mining drill in background.
Broker Notes

ASX expert: Buy Lynas shares now

Top broker Goldman Sachs has this ASX rare earths share on its conviction list.

Read more »