Serbia’s government said it has set up a working group to facilitate the implementation of the Jadar mineral exploration project near the western town of Loznica by global mining giant Rio Tinto.
The aim of the working group is to facilitate the process of the opening of the mine and the start of production of lithium and borates, which will greatly support the economic growth of Serbia, the government said.
The working group will be chaired by energy minister Aleksandar Antic and is expected to make the development of the Jadar project more efficient through its study phase by speeding up the process of issuing the exploration permit.
In July, Serbia’s government signed a memorandum of understanding with Rio Tinto related to the implementation of the Jadar project, opening the way for creation of joint task groups to oversee the study phase of the project and the process of obtaining necessary permits.
Rio Tinto discovered a world-class lithium-borate deposit in the valley of the Jadar river in Serbia in 2004. The company has said it plans to start production in 2023, assuming that feasibility studies confirm viability and all necessary approvals are obtained.
The Jadar lithium borate discovery in Serbia is eastimated 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.