Rio Tinto's Jadar project in Serbia is a significant, world-class lithium-borate deposit. We are investing in technical, economic, social and environmental studies to prepare for responsible development of the resource.
A new discovery
Discovered in 2004, Jadar is a unique deposit near the town of Loznica, Serbia. It contains jadarite – a new lithium sodium borosilicate mineral. Jadar is the only place in the world where this mineral can be found. Incidentally, jadarite has a similar chemical composition to the fictional kryptonite of Superman fame.
Due to its high lithium and boron concentrations Jadar has been ranked as one of the largest lithium deposits in the world. If developed, it has the potential to supply a significant percentage 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 vehicles. 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.
The project is currently in the pre-feasibility stage. Significant investment is necessary to continue the technical analysis and planning which is required to move from pre-feasibility to feasibility, then to construction and operation. A team of international experts in various disciplines, from mining to processing to communities, is completing studies as part of the pre-feasibility stage to further assess the technical and economic viability of the project.
Jadar represents significant value for Serbia, Rio Tinto, local communities and global consumers. Since the beginning of the project, Rio Tinto has been working closely with the Serbian government and local officials to ensure the project moves forward responsibly and in a manner that benefits surrounding communities.
Rio Tinto is committed to pursuing the highest standards of health, safety, environmental protection and community engagement at its Jadar project in Serbia.
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.