Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto is drafting the project documentation for the construction of the Jadar lithium borate mine in Serbia, said the company’s country head for Serbia, Marnie Finlayson.
Finlayson discussed the development of the project at a meeting with Serbia’s infrastructure minister Zorana Mihajlovic, the infrastructure ministry said in a press release.
“Jadar is a project of enormous importance for our country and the ministry that I lead will provide full support to its implementation, both in terms of infrastructure works, as well as in all other phases regarding spatial planning and building permits,” Mihajlovic said.
Rio Tinto has been active in Serbia since 2001 through its local subsidiary Rio Sava Exploration. The company has also established a subsidiary for conducting geological surveys in Serbia and the region, Rio Tinto Explorations Dunav.
The Jadar lithium borate deposit, discovered by Rio Tinto in the valley of the Jadar river in 2004, is estimated at 135.7 million tonnes with a weighted average concentration of 1.86% of lithium oxide, representing one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. The company has said it plans to start production in 2023, assuming that feasibility studies confirm viability and all necessary approvals are obtained.