Rio Tinto Borates' Jadar project in Serbia is a significant, world-class lithium-borate resource. We are investing in technical, economic, and social and environmental studies to prepare for responsible development.
Due to its high lithium and boron concentrations – and an assessed geological resource of more than 200 million tonnes - Jadar has been ranked as one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. If developed, it has the potential to supply more than 10% of global demand for lithium.
The lightest metal on Earth, lithium is used in a vast array of products, most notably batteries for hybrid and electric cars. The deposit also contains borates, which are essential building blocks for heat resistant glass, fibreglass, ceramics, fertilisers, detergents, wood preservatives and many other household and commercial products. They are used in insulation that makes buildings energy-efficient, and to produce TV, computer and smartphone screens.
Serbian and American geologists working for Rio Tinto discovered the deposit in 2004 near the town of Loznica, around 140km from Belgrade. The deposit contains the mineral jadarite. Serbia's Jadar basin continues as only place in the world where the mineral can be found. Incidentally, jadarite has almost the same chemical composition as the fictional kryptonite of Superman fame.
The project is currently in Prefeasibility stage. A team of international experts in various disciplines (from mining to processing to communities) is completing studies over as part of Prefeasibility stage to further assess the technical and economic viability of the project.
Both intended product streams from the project – lithium and borates – play important roles in a more energy-efficient future. This includes through lithium's use in batteries for electric vehicles, and borates’ inclusion in insulation fibreglass and wind turbines.
Jadar represents significant value to Serbia, Rio Tinto, local communities and global consumers.
From the beginning of the project, Rio Tinto has worked closely with the Serbian government and local officials to ensure the project moves forward responsibly and in a manner that benefits surrounding communities.
Leaders have signed a memorandum of understanding with Loznica Municipality, reinforcing an ongoing agreement to cooperate and share information to support development of the project.
Rio Tinto is also proud that its team in Serbia recently went 3 years and over 500,000 hours without a lost-time injury.