Rio Tinto to invest $2.4bn in major lithium project in Serbia

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Rio Tinto announced it would invest $2.4 billion in the Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia, one of the world’s largest greenfield lithium projects.

Subject to receiving all relevant approvals, permits and licences, the Jadar project will include an underground mine with associated infrastructure and equipment, including electric haul trucks, as well as a beneficiation chemical processing plant.

It will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a critical mineral used in large-scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy.

The project, which will also produce borates (used in solar panels and wind turbines), will be one of the largest industrial investments in Serbia, contributing 1% directly and 4% indirectly to GDP.


Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said the project would position the company as the largest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years.

“We have great confidence in the Jadar project and are ready to invest, subject to approvals,” Mr Stausholm said.

“Serbia and Rio Tinto will be well-positioned to capture the opportunity offered by rising demand for lithium, driven by the global energy transition and the project will strengthen our offering, particularly to the European market.

“It could supply enough lithium to power over one million electric vehicles per year.”

According to Rio Tinto’s statement, first saleable production from the project is expected in 2026.

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