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Jadar lithium-borates project, Serbia – update

Chemical formula for lithium borate

Photo by US National Library of Medicine

26th January 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Jadar lithium-borates project.

Near the City of Loznica, western Serbia.

Project Owner/s
Rio Tinto.

Project Description
Jadar will be one of the biggest industrial investments in Serbia.

The project will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a critical mineral used in large-scale batteries for electric vehicles and in storing renewable energy, and will position Rio Tinto as the biggest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years.

In addition, Jadar will produce borates, which are used in solar panels and wind turbines. The development will include an underground mine with associated infrastructure and equipment, as well as electric haul trucks and a beneficiation chemical processing plant.

Following ramp-up to full production, the mine will produce about 58 000 t/y of lithium carbonate, 160 000 t/y of boric acid and 255 000 t/y of sodium sulphate, making Rio Tinto one of the top ten lithium producers in the world. Based on this yearly production of lithium carbonate, Rio Tinto aims to produce 2.3-million tonnes of lithium carbonate over the expected 40-year life-of-mine.

Potential Job Creation
The project will create 2 100 jobs during construction and 1 000 mining and processing jobs once in production.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
Rio Tinto has committed $2.4-billion to the Jadar project.

Planned Start/End Date
Construction is expected to start in 2022. First saleable production is expected in 2027, with full production expected in 2029.

Latest Developments
The government of Serbia wants to hold further talks with Rio Tinto about the project, adding that there should also be more public discussion about whether it should go ahead.

Belgrade revoked licences for the project in January 2022 after massive environmental protests.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January 2024, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he had had "a difficult conversation" with representatives of Rio Tinto.

"We are facing the question of whether the company will file a lawsuit against us . . . I asked them not to take measures to protect their interests," Vucic told Serbian reporters.

He sought Rio's assurances about environmental standards and said the next government – expected to be formed by May 2024, following December elections – should address the issue.

"[Rio] must offer the cleanest solutions, which could be satisfactory to our people, the highest standards in the world for the nature and the people who will work there," he said.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Rio Tinto, email


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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