Rio Tinto and Serbian Government Sign MOU for Jadar Project
If the Jadar Project is developed, the production could reportedly supply a significant proportion of global demand for lithium and borates.
Rio Tinto has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Serbia regarding the implementation of the Jadar Project, which is related to a lithium-borate deposit. The MOU will enable the formation of joint working groups between the government and the company to progress the Jadar Project through the study and permitting phases, as per the law.
If the Jadar Project is developed, the production could reportedly supply a significant proportion of global demand for lithium and borates, which are used to produce products such as batteries for electrical vehicles, glass and ceramics, and fertilizers. The project is currently in the middle study stages, with operation expected to commence in 2023, assuming that feasibility studies confirm viability and all necessary approvals are obtained.
“Rio Tinto sees Serbia as an attractive investment destination, and the Jadar project is an important part of Rio Tinto’s growth portfolio,” said Bold Baatar, Rio Tinto Energy & Minerals’ chief executive. “A project of this magnitude requires time and expertise to design and bring into operation. We can only do this with the support of the Serbian government and local community.”
According to Aleksandar Antić, Serbia’s minister of Mining and Energy, “Rio Tinto has, so far, invested $90 million in the Jadar project, and I believe that the signing of the MOU will speed up the activities related to the process of opening a mine and the beginning of the exploitation of lithium, which will have capital effect on the development of Serbia. Progress of the Jadar project in a timely manner, and its implementation, will make Serbia the key producer of the two very important elements—lithium and boron—both of which are important for modern development. In that way, we will give a push to the economic growth of Serbia.”
Jadar is a lithium-borate deposit discovered by Rio Tinto in 2004. It is reportedly a unique deposit near the town of Loznica, in western Serbia, some 160 km from Belgrade. The deposit contains Jadarite, a new mineral unique to Serbia, which has not been found anywhere else in the world. The deposit contains 136 Mt of declared resources.
For more information, visit www.riotinto.com.