Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto is finishing the preparations for the transportation of the pilot lithium processing plant to Serbia from Melbourne. Despite mounting protests by Serbian citizens, the company is continuing its plans to open a jadarite mine.
Rio Tinto has recently earmarked USD 2.4 billion for the construction of the mine and announced it would continue to buy land and work on permits. Serbian authorities are also fulfilling the preconditions for the investment. The City Assembly of Loznica in western Serbia adopted a spatial plan including a special purpose area for Rio Tinto’s lithium mining and processing project. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the local parliament, expressing outrage.
Rio Tinto Ltd is set to ship a pilot lithium processing plant to Serbia from Melbourne in the coming weeks
The report on the upcoming shipment of the pilot lithium processing plant to Serbia from Australia, published by Reuters, will surely add to the citizens’ discontent with the project.
Rio Tinto is prepared to transport the system in the coming weeks, the news outlet wrote.
Four containers of equipment will travel more then two months to Serbia, it added.
Rio Tinto has found a way for cost-effective processing of lithium from the jadarite ore
The pilot lithium processing plant was developed in the company’s research center in Melbourne, which developed a cost-effective method to obtain the material from the jadarite ore.
Production is expected to begin in five years and by 2029 annual output is seen reaching 58,000 tons of lithium carbonate.
Rio Tinto expects jadarite mine to make it a top ten lithium producer
Rio Tinto claims the Jadar project would place it in the top ten list of lithium producers on a global scale. The company said the target of 160,000 tons of boric acid per year would make the Balkan country the third in the world in the borates sector, trailing only the United States and Turkey.
The mining company’s Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said the Jadar project could supply enough lithium to power over one million electric vehicles per year and that expenses for both boron and lithium would be in the lowest quartile.