Rio Tinto in Serbia: Lithium exploitation plan presented, Mining
Finally, the plan of the whole Jadar project saw the light of day. Here are some of the most important side projects and what all lithium extraction will bring in the villages around Loznica.
The spatial plan of the special purpose area for the realization of the project for exploitation and processing of Jadarite minerals “Jadar” was put on early public insight, which will last until the end of the year.
As stated in the document, the initiative for the development of the Spatial Plan was submitted to the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure in December 2016 by the company Rio Sava Exploration d.o.o. Belgrade, a company operating within the global mining corporation Rio Tinto.
The beginning of the development of the Spatial Plan was preceded by several years of exploration of the Jadarite minerals (sodium lithium borosilicate), which were discovered by the geologists of the Rio Sava Exploration in the Jadar River basin, by which this unique mineral was named – as published in the documentation.
The Spatial Plan area covers an area of 293.91 square kilometers and a total of 22 cadastral municipalities in the territory of the City of Loznica (settlements Runjani, Lipnica, Bradic, Brnjac, Veliko Selo, Jarebice, Draginac, Simino Brdo, Cikote, Surice, Stupnica, Slatina, Korenita, Gornje Nedeljice, Donje Nedeljice, Grncara and Sor) and the municipalities of Krupanj (settlements Kostajnik, Dvorska, Brezovice, Krasava and Cerova).
The “Jadar” deposit in which the previously unknown mineral jadarite was discovered at the end of 2004 is in the central part of the scope of the Spatial Plan, and so far it is the only place where this mineral was found which is new to science and represents the concentration of lithium and boron . Based on the annual report for 2017 of the global mining corporation Rio Tinto, the estimation of jadarite resources has been carried out for the Lower Jadarit zone alone, to a total of 136 million tonnes. In addition to opening the exploitation of Jadarite, within the area of the Spatial Plan, it is expected that the production of antimony will be restored, as well as the exploitation of lead-zinc ore.
The Jadar project, we recall, estimates that it will employ 700 people (up to 400 in the mine, on an area of about 100 and about 200 maintenance workers), involves changing the purpose of the regime of use of space, construction of facilities, roads and infrastructure, conducting mining activities, processing ores, production, deposit of materials and establishment of protection measures in the area of the total area of approximately 2030,64 hectares.
The project implementation area is divided into several zones, for example, in the Mining Activities Zone, two vertical shafts will be constructed for access to the mine body, for ventilation of the mine and for the transportation of ore and mining waste to the surface. Two mine excavation techniques will be applied at the mine: conventional drilling and blasting and machine continuous excavation.
A landfill of approximately 5.2 million cubic meters of waste within the first subzone is planned.
Further, the concept of development on the scope of the plan involves the construction of a new route Ruma-Sabac-Loznica, as well as the construction of a new section of Valjevo-Loznica in the length of about 13.75 kilometers. Projections indicate the generation of approximately 600 trucks in the driveway and about 1,400 trucks in the haul, on a weekly basis, with dump trucks predominating.
The railway infrastructure envisaged by the project will include the reconstruction of the existing Ruma – Sabac – Rasputnica Donja Borina – state border – (Zvornik Novi) railway and construction of a new Valjevo – Loznica railway, which will be displaced in one part, and the construction of several bridges is planned to bridge the newly constructed regulated riverbeds, which will intersect with the displaced section of the track.
The plan also envisages the construction of missing water and hydrotechnical infrastructure – reservoirs at planned locations and the reconstruction and modernization of the network and facilities.