Rio Tinto’s Jadar lithium borate project in Serbia is progressing well through its pre-feasibility study, the CEO of the Anglo-Australian mining group said.
The project near the town of Loznica, in western Serbia, gives Rio Tinto an option to supply the world’s electrification needs, Jean-Sebastien Jacques said at the annual general meeting of Rio Tinto last week, according to a transcript of his speech published on the company’s website.
Rio Tinto discovered the lithium borate deposit in the valley of Jadar river in 2004 and plans to start production in 2023. 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, representing one of the largest lithium deposits in the world.
In April, Marnie Finlayson, the country head for Serbia of Rio Tinto, said the company is drafting the project documentation for the construction of the Jadar lithium borate mine. Under current plans, Jadar will be an underground mine, with the opportunity for future expansion if demand warrants it, The Australian daily reported in March.