Lithium exploitation in Serbia will be possible in three to four years
At the end of this year or early next year, company Rio Tinto should complete exploration of lithium reserves at the “Jadar” mining site and, if all goes according to plan, exploitation of that ore could start in three to four years – said Stevica Dedjanski State Secretary at the Ministry of Mining and Energy of Serbia, at the Fourth Annual European Mining Academy.
According to him, the ore should be processed in Serbia and new products such as batteries for electric cars could be made out of it.
Contractual investments of Chinese company “Zidjin” co-owner of RTB Bor in exploitation of millenarian raw materials in Bor basin are expected next year. “Zidjin” bought the Canadian company “Nevsun”, which is developing the “Chukaru Peki” project, and copper exploitation should begin in two years. Last year, 42,000 tonnes of copper were produced at RTB Bor, and this year it is expected to produce 47,000 tonnes, and when the “Chukaru Peki” mine is opened, production should be between 200,000 and 250,000 tonnes per year, Dedjansky said.
He added that investments of the exploitation of mineral resources are constantly increasing and in 2018 alone, $ 100 million has been invested, the number of exploration of exploitation fields is increasing and there are 163 active at the moment, and that new mines in Serbia are expected to be opened, so based on that, mining could contribute to five percent of GDP.
Serbia has great mining potential and should develop co-operation in the field of mining not only with Sweden, but with the entire European Union. European industry needs ore, and Serbia has large reserves. For example, Serbia has lithium, which is the future for the European automotive industry, for production of batteries for electric vehicles. Mining is also a great economic potential for Serbia and job creation – said Jan Lundin, Sweden’s ambassador to Serbia, adding that his country, which is one of the largest producers of iron ore in Europe, has the potential to help Serbia develop technology and to work together with mining companies operating in our country.
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