23 January 2022

Serbia pulls plug on Rio’s Jadar

On 20 January, the Serbian Prime Minister announced Serbia was withdrawing the spatial plan and revoking licences related to Rio Tinto’s proposed Jadar lithium-borates project.

View over the Drina river canyon, Serbia
© Dino Kajtez/Unsplash

There had been objections to the project from several environmental groups.

The company says it views Jadar as a world-class project with the potential to play an essential role in the transition to a low carbon future and it is working through what this means for the project and our people in Serbia.

Jadar is named after jadarite, a lithium sodium borosilicate mineral discovered in Serbia in 2004, near the city of Loznica. The project planned to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, and borates.

First saleable production from the mine was expected no earlier than 2027 with a planned annual production of ~58,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 160,000 tonnes of boric acid (B2O3 units) and 255,000 tonnes of sodium sulphate, making Rio Tinto one of the top ten lithium producers in the world.