Rio Tinto’s Jadar lithium project in Serbia – spatial plan adopted, Mining
The spatial plan for the implementation of a lithium borate exploration and processing project by British-Australian mining group Rio Tinto in the valley of the Jadar river, has been prepared in accordance with studies and documentation obtained from Rio Sava Exploration, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, which is the holder of the licence for geological exploration for boron and lithium at the Jadar deposit, the government said in a notice.
According to the spatial plan, the area of mining activities will spread over 854.8 hectares, the industrial activities zone will cover 646.5 hectares, while an area of 358.5 hectares will be used for the storage of industrial waste, construction of access roads and supporting infrastructure.
The total area of the spatial plan is 293.9 square kilometres in the municipalities of Loznica and Krupanj, in western Serbia.
Rio Tinto is expected to invest about $1.5 billion (1.3 billion euro) in the project and to start the production of jadarite, a unique mineral containing both lithium and boron, at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025, energy minister Aleksandar Antic said.
The mining group discovered the lithium borate deposit in the valley of the Jadar river in 2004. Jadar is estimated to contain 10% of the world’s deposits of lithium, the primary raw material for the production of batteries for electric vehicles. The Jadar lithium borate discovery in Serbia is estimated at 135.7 million tonnes with a weighted average concentration of 1.86% of lithium oxide.