Employee, Jadar

Jadar

Lithium & borates

Product

2004

First jadarite discovery

90%

Serbian workforce

$2.4B

Committed capital

~1000

Jobs in the long term

~2000

Jobs during construction

A lithium-boron deposit with the potential to make Serbia a major global producer.

Jadar is named after jadarite, a lithium sodium borosilicate mineral we discovered in Serbia in 2004, near the city of Loznica in western Serbia.

The Jadar project in Serbia is one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in the world. Jadar will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a critical mineral used in large scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy. In addition, Jadar will produce borates, which are needed for the development of renewable energy equipment such as solar panels and wind turbines.

The scale and high-grade nature of the Jadar mineralisation will ensure a long-life operation in the first quartile of operating costs for both products.

The proposed development will include an underground mine with associated infrastructure and equipment, including electric haul trucks, as well as a beneficiation chemical processing plant to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate.

First saleable production from the mine is expected in 2026 and, following ramp up to full production in 2029, the mine will produce annually ~58,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 160,000 tonnes of boric acid (B2O3 units) and 255,000 tonnes of sodium sulphate1, making Rio Tinto one of the top ten lithium producers in the world. Based on this annual production of lithium carbonate, Rio Tinto aims that, over the expected 40-year life of mine, the operation will produce 2.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate.

1 These production targets were previously reported in a release to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) dated 10 December 2020, “Rio Tinto declares maiden Ore Reserve at Jadar” (for battery-grade lithium carbonate it was 55,000 tonnes). All material assumptions underpinning the production targets continue to apply and have not materially changed.

 

Jadarite, Jadar

What’s next

In July 2021, we committed $2.4 billion to the Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia. The project remains subject to receiving all relevant approvals, permits and licences and ongoing engagement with local communities, the Government of Serbia and civil society. The next steps for the project are seeking an exploitation licence and receipt of regulatory approvals. This includes approval of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies, which will shortly be made available to the public for comment. The EIA is required for the commencement of works, with construction targeted to start in 2022.

Construction of a mine would take up to four years with first saleable production expected in 2026. 

We are now focused on completing the detailed engineering, land acquisition, workforce and supply preparation for construction, permitting and early infrastructure development. At the same time, we continue to collaborate with leading Serbian and international experts in mining, processing, engineering and design, communities and environment to deepen our understanding of the project.

The investment commitment builds on progress made over the last 18 months: In February, we completed the detailed geological exploration of the jadarite deposit. In July 2020, we approved an additional investment of almost US$200 million to progress the next stage of development, the Feasibility Study, which is expected to be completed at the end of 2021. In December 2020, we announced the maiden Ore Reserve and updated Mineral Resource at the project.

We recognise that in progressing this project, we must listen to and respect the views of all stakeholders. We are committed to upholding the highest environmental standards and building sustainable futures for the communities we operate in.

We are working hard to establish trusting and respectful relationships with Jadar communities, including landowners, the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and all other relevant stakeholders such as NGOs and civil society organisations. And we remain committed to optimising the economic and social benefits while minimising any negative impacts to the community and the environment."

Marnie Finlayson, Managing Director Borates and Lithium 

 

Lithium, a material for the future 

A vital component for clean technologies such as electric vehicles and battery storage, lithium will play an essential role in the transition to a low carbon economy. The scale and high-grade nature of the Jadar deposit provides the potential for a mine to supply lithium products into the electric vehicle value chain for decades, positioning Serbia as the European hub for green energy. Double digit demand growth is forecast for lithium over the next decade.

Jadar Project FAQs

 

  • What is the Jadar Project?

    Jadarite is a new mineral deposit containing lithium and boron that was discovered by our geologists in 2004 near Loznica in the Jadar Valley in Western Serbia, some 160 kilometres from the capital of Belgrade. The high-grade, large-scale deposit is a promising addition to the world’s supply of materials for low-carbon technologies, such as the batteries used for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. We want to establish an underground operation to mine the deposit, and are currently working through the necessary regulatory and environmental approvals to secure permission to establish the operation. Rio Sava Exploration is a Serbian subsidiary of the Rio Tinto Group that is developing the Jadar project.

  • What is the significance of such a discovery?

    Lithium, the lightest of all metals, is proving to be an essential ingredient in many of the world’s low-carbon technologies. It doesn’t occur on its own in nature but is found combined with other minerals. The discovery of a high-grade, large-scale reserve of a new mineral that contains lithium presents exciting new opportunities for contributing to a more low-carbon future. It also promises to position Serbia as the European hub for green energy.

 

Exploration and findings

  • How was geological exploration carried out?

    We employed several geological investigation techniques to certify the available reserves at Jadar, with drilling the primary technique used (drilling core and rotary drilling without a core). Holes were drilled over a licensed area covering 60km2.

  • What will the mine produce?

    The Jadar deposit and its unique mineral, Jadarite, contains high-grade mineralisation of boron and lithium. Jadar will be capable of producing three products on an annual basis, all in powdered form:

    • ~ 58,000 tonnes of refined battery-grade lithium carbonate
    • 160,000 tonnes of boric acid
    • 255,000 tonnes of sodium sulphate

    These products are important to the production of large-scale batteries for electric vehicles and for the storage of renewable energy. Borates are used in solar panels and wind turbines and in many household products such as detergents and cosmetics, as well as in fibreglass insulation, glass for cell phones and in fertilisers. Sodium sulphate is used in the textile industry and in the production of powdered detergents and glass.

  • What experience does Rio Tinto have with lithium mining?

    We entered the lithium industry through our Boron mine in California, where borates have been mined since 1927. In 2019, we established a demonstration project at Boron to recover battery-grade lithium from the boron waste piles and this has been used to test the capacity to progress to larger-scale production. Jadar will build directly upon the Boron experience and the two operations will be complementary.

    We have also developed a new, innovative technology for the production of lithium carbonate and boric acid from the mined Jadarite ore, with a small-scale test plant developed at our research centre in Australia to test the new technology. A global team of experts has conducted some 2,000 tests to date to confirm the technical viability of producing the three products from the Jadarite ore. This has led to numerous improvements in the production process and in the health, safety and environmental protection processes.

  • Why have you sent the test plant to Serbia when you don't have approvals to construct and operate a mine?

    Jadarite is a new mineral with no reference points and no known process anywhere in the world that could be used as a template for extraction, so the pilot plant was a critical part in understanding how Jadarite is best processed.

    The pilot plant, developed over the past six years in Australia, is being shipped to Serbia because its primary purpose in Australia of developing and testing a viable extraction process is complete.

    Having the pilot plant in Serbia opens up possibilities such as using it as a tool to train future Serbian operators as well as future research and development in Serbia.

    Jadar is a resource in Serbia, for Serbians, and it is important that the knowledge, expertise and scientific know- how benefits Serbia.

  • Has an agreement with the Government of Serbia been made behind closed doors to ship the pilot plant to Serbia?

    This is absolutely not the case. This was not a decision that the Government of Serbia was involved in.

  • What is the purpose of the pilot plant relocation to Serbia in this project phase?

    Once the pilot plant passed its tests at our Technical Innovation Centre, it was time to move it to Serbia. Having the pilot plant in Serbia opens up possibilities such as using it as a tool to train future Serbian operators as well as future research and development in Serbia.

    Jadar is a resource in Serbia, for Serbians, and it is important that the knowledge, expertise and scientific know- how benefits Serbia.

    Based on world class research and collaboration with the best academics, scientists and mining practitioners around the world there is the potential to develop a strong technical capability in Serbia.

 

Construction of the mine

  • How long will it take to build the mine?

    Subject to all necessary approvals being obtained, construction of the mine would start in 2022 and take up to four years, with the first saleable production expected in 2026.

  • How much land will it require?

    The mining operation will be constructed in an area of less than 400 hectares. This footprint incorporates both the underground mine and the surface industrial complex (the concentrate processing plant and the industrial waste storage facilities).

  • What sort of working conditions will this new mine offer?

    We build our mines to high levels of sophistication and safety and have installed cutting-edge technologies at many of our mines around the world. The Jadar mine is being designed to the highest industry standards, providing the best possible conditions in terms of the health, safety and welfare of workers. For example, the underground mine design includes ventilation with both cooling and heating infrastructure to moderate temperature variations and ensure optimal temperatures for working: one of the world’s only mines that uses this kind of system. All of the vehicles used in the underground mine will be powered by electricity, reducing emissions and improving the air quality in the underground working environment.

  • What is the expected life of the mine?

    The mine is expected to have an operating life of at least 40 years. We aim to produce 2.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate during this time.

 

Economic considerations

  • What investment is Rio Tinto making in the mine?

    We have committed US$450 million in pre-feasibility, feasibility and other studies in Jadar to understand the nature of the Jadar deposit. A further US$2.4 billion has been committed to constructing the proposed mine, subject to receiving all necessary approvals, permits and licences. The Jadar project is 100% owned by Rio Tinto.

  • What is the market for lithium like?

    The market fundamentals for battery grade lithium carbonate are strong, with lithium demand forecast to grow 25-35% per annum over the next decade. As a large lithium project, on the doorstep of Europe, Jadar is well placed to meet this demand. The Jadar project could supply enough lithium to power more than one million electric vehicles per year (assuming 60kWh battery size).

  • What are the benefits for Serbia?

    If approved, Jadar will be one of the largest industrial investments in Serbia, contributing one per cent directly and four per cent indirectly to GDP, and making it one of the country’s largest exporters. Many Serbian suppliers will be involved in the construction of the mine and we will also help to develop local businesses so that they can support the operations of the mine in the decades ahead. The Jadar mine will also be a significant employer, creating 2,100 jobs during construction and 1,000 mining and processing jobs once in production.

  • Will the value chain extend beyond mining?

    While it is still early days, this is likely. We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with European battery technology and manufacturing company InoBat to create a battery manufacturing and recycling value chain in Serbia. The collaboration will enable an important exchange of knowledge and information on lithium processing, recycling and technologies for the next generation of batteries. It will also encourage the development of a complete European lithium and electric vehicle battery chain that will harness local skills and promote cross-border interactions for the benefit of Serbia and other European economies that wish to collaborate. This directly supports European bids for technological independence. It also aligns with the global shift towards creating circular economies that maximise the use of our natural resources.

 

Environmental impacts and approvals

  • What environmental assessments have been taken?

    For many years now, we have been working with a group of more than 100 local and global external experts across all aspects of the environmental, social and governance impacts, including around 40 university professors from more than 10 faculties and scientific institutes. To date, 12 environmental studies have been finalised and more than 23,000 biological, physical and chemical analyses of soil, water, air and noise have been undertaken. These will inform the Environmental Impact Assessment studies, building a comprehensive picture of the environment before mining begins, predicting the cumulative impacts of the operations over time, and directing measures to minimise these impacts.

    Name Developer
    Environmental and Community Impact of Subsidence at the mine area study Faculty of Mining and Geology, University of Belgrade
    SEVESO Safety analysis of the Jadar Project from the aspect of chemical accident Petram/SGS
    SEVESO Study (II) Petram/SGS
    JADAR EIA Gap Analysis Report (two separate studies) Faculty of Mining and Geology and Mechanical Faculty, University of Belgrade
    Generation of noise model for the Jadar lithium-borate project components SGS
    Air Quality modeling of the Jadar Project Mechanical Faculty, University of Belgrade
    HYDROLOGIC STUDY ON THE JADAR RIVER WITHIN THE ZONE OF A FUTURE WATER SUPPLY INTAKE Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the Development of Water Resources
    Jadar Project Water Supply Study (JPWSS) Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the Development of Water Resources
    Water monitoring Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the Development of Water Resources
    Waste water discharge study Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the Development of Water Resources
    Hydrotechnical Study - flood protection and flood zones in the Jadar river valley Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the Development of Water Resources
    Hydrotechnical Study on the relocation of the Korenita River Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the Development of Water Resources
    Preliminary hydrogeological Study of protection of the spring by the church in Gornje Nedeljice village Faculty of Mining and Geology, University of Belgrade
    Soil monitoring report Agriculture faculty, UoB
    Soil monitoring report (ii) Public Health Institite Belgarde
    Air Quality monitoring Public Health Institite Belgarde
    Noise Model for the Jadar Lithium Borate Project Components - Forest Option SGS
    Jadar Project Biodiversity Baseline Report Faculty of Biology, UoB and Environmental Resources Management
    Static Geochemical Characterisation of Tailings Samples SRK consulting
    Noise monitoring SGS and Zastita Beograd
  • Will large amounts of water be required in the mining process?

    Based on the pre-feasibility study, the mine’s average water demand is estimated to be 6-18 litres per second, which translates to about 1.3 litres of water per one kilogram of product. As part of the Feasibility Study, a more advanced model of consumption is being developed that considers the variability of mine water inflow and weather conditions (rainfall) in different years, as well as the potential impacts of climate change.

    The Jadar project is being designed to maximise the use of process water in its operations and to minimise the total volume of water that needs to be treated. Water management will be state-of-the-art, with a US$35 million dedicated wastewater treatment plant resulting in approximately 70% of raw water coming from recycled sources or treated mine water.

  • Will water be drawn from the Drina river, jeopardising local water supplies?

    Water will be used from three sources:

    • Mine water obtained through the regular drainage of the underground mine that is then treated
    • Through the collection of surface run-off from the mining and process facilities (rainfall)
    • By extracting groundwater from the alluvium deposited by the Drina River, near Lipnicki Sor. This area has been previously disturbed by gravel extraction and has little potential as a high-quality water source for drinking water.

    Water will not be sourced directly from the Drina riverbed and, based on initial studies, no significant drop in groundwater levels is expected around the alluvial source itself. We are undertaking fieldwork to determine the quantity of groundwater that can be used without impacting the river, as well as any potential drawdown in the surrounding area. Any use of this area as a water source would be subject to necessary consents and permits, in accordance with the law.

  • What will happen to water that is not used in the mine? 

    Any water that is not reused will be treated in a state-of-the-art wastewater facility to meet strict environmental standards before being released into the river. The plant will process the water to Class II standard – the same quality as the Drina and Jadar rivers – using modern and efficient technologies, namely ultrafiltration using reverse osmosis and ion exchange. The volume of water entering the river from the treatment plant will be relatively low compared with the river’s overall flow: the Jadar river’s flow rate is on average 300 times higher than the inflow from the Jadar wastewater plant would be, and five times higher during extremely low waters.

  • How much waste will the mine generate?

    It is estimated that the mine will generate 57 million tonnes of waste over its life. As a comparison, the largest mine in the Balkans has about 150 million tonnes of deposited waste. All waste will be carefully managed in compliance with Serbian and European regulations. Environmental scientists will be on-site, working closely with process safety and plant engineers, water and waste management experts and others to manage the systems and protect local environments.

  • What sort of waste will be generated and how will it be stored?

    The Jadar mine and processing facility will generate two types of waste:

    • Rock material removed to access the ore body
    • Industrial waste, including a mix of minerals from the ore body and minerals created during processing.

    The mineral processing involves crushing and wet separation without flotation. Flotation is a specific method used to separate and concentrate ores that is commonly associated with wet slurry residue requiring storage in massive tailings dams. At Jadar, waste will be managed in a very different way: the industrial residue from the processing plant will be filtered under pressure and dried in a kiln to produce solid waste known as ‘filter cakes’, which can be safely transported and stacked to form a strong, stable landfill. Approximately 30% will be used to refill the underground mine once mining in an area is completed.

  • Doesn’t the waste contain high levels of toxic materials that could harm the environment?

    All waste will be carefully managed in line with local Serbian and European standards. The waste storage system will include a state-of-the-art system for monitoring the air, water and soil quality to ensure potential impacts to the environment are minimised.

    A range of measures will be implemented, such as installing liners to prevent leaching, lead detection and groundwater monitoring, use of water trucks to miminise dust, landfill surface compaction, weather and dust emission monitoring, and progressive capping.

  • Will sulphur dioxide produced by the processing plant ‘burn’ nearby forests?

    No. The properties of Jadarite, combined with technological innovation, mean that the ore will be processed at below 100 degrees Celcius. Because sulphuric acid is stable below 100˚C, the process will not create sulphur dioxide. In addition, the processing plant will include technology, such as scrubbers, that remove gases created during processing.

  • Isn’t there a risk that mining will cause massive subsidence and landslides in the surrounding hills?

    The mine design includes two key controls to minimise surface subsidence: backfilling of mine voids (using material made from cement, rocks and minerals); and incorporation of ore pillars. Based on the mine design, modelling estimates surface subsidence would be below 20-30cm. There was no risk of landslide identified during this modelling.

  • What if there is a major flood?

    The mine infrastructure will be designed to withstand a once in 10,000 years flood event. This far exceeds design standards required by local law, which are based on a once in 500 years flood event.

  • Will the project use renewable or fossil fuel electric power sources?

    The Jadar project anticipates sourcing certified green power exclusively, from renewable energy sources (i.e. power with associated Guarantee of Origin within the framework specified in the standards of European Association of Issuing Bodies and implemented in Serbia by EMS).

 

Social impacts

  • How many households will be relocated for the development of the project?

    There are 52 permanently occupied houses in the project footprint, and a further 293 landowners whose land will be impacted by the mine. We are committed to negotiated agreements that are conducted in a transparent, sensitive and fair manner. Since the voluntary land acquisition programme began, there has been an extensive process of consultation and engagement through face-to-face meetings and community information days. The goal is for landowners to have the same or better quality of life and work compared to the one they had before the move. Particular consideration is given to livelihood impacts, vulnerable groups and transition support.

    Every affected household will be supported in developing a tailored plan for these changes, including:

    • Selective support for the replacement of agricultural land for those experience difficulties in securing such land
    • Support for the modernisation of agricultural equipment
    • Training and education to enhance employability
    • Small business support, including prioritisation in project procurement processes.

    There will also be support for community-level projects focused around developing agriculture, local training institutions and improved community infrastructure.

  • How has the local community been kept informed about the project plans?

    We have been engaging with local communities about the Jadar project since late 2019. This has been via public presentations, the establishment of information centres in Loznica and Brezjak, Open Day events in the information centres focusing on particular aspects of the project, and regular community meetings. Community members will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed project through the Environmental Impact Assessment process, as well as regular, ongoing consultation activities.

  • Will the power used by the mine to destabilise local supply?

    Jadar’s annual power consumption will rank around the low to middle range among Serbia’s industrial consumers. The mine’s power will be supplied through the regional high-voltage network (EMS operator), while the power supply of nearby communities is provided by the local low-voltage power grid (EPS operator). They are separate networks. We will finance both high-voltage connection and distribution system facilities that will become part of the EMS network, including 2.5 kilometres of transmission lines to the project site.

  • What impact will there be on local traffic?

    We have completed a traffic management study, with special emphasis on safety on local roads associated with the increased traffic created by the operations of the mine. Modelling was done in coordination with the leading international consultant Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Traffic and Transport Faculty. This has identified potential bottleneck road sections and options for by-pass roads. Rail transport studies have also been conducted with a view to converting as much truck transport to rail as possible. We put together an experienced team to review transport routes and recommend rail options to minimise impact on the community and improve rail safety.

  • Who will benefit most from the employment opportunities at Jadar?

    The workforce target is for around 90% Serbian employees at Jadar. We estimate that approximately two thirds of all jobs will be highly skilled operator and maintainer roles, involving complex, technologically advanced equipment in either the underground mine or the processing facility. The Jadar mine will also need:

    • Tradespeople such as electricians, welders and metal fabricators
    • Technical specialists in areas such as processing, metallurgy, electrical, mechanical, automation and geotechnical engineering; data science; hydrology; geology; surveying; accounting; human resources; and asset management
    • Supervisors and leaders.

    The Jadar project offers many opportunities for local people in terms of both skills development and employment. Rio Tinto is developing employment and training plans and investigating partnerships with secondary schools, universities and technical colleges.

 

Next Steps

The Jadar project remains subject to Rio Tinto receiving all the relevant approvals, permits and licences, as well as our continued engagement with all stakeholders, including local communities and the Government of Serbia. Specifically, the next steps are:

  • Completion of the Feasibility Study (expected to be finalised by the end of 2021)
  • Seeking and securing a construction permit
  • Completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and submission to the Serbian Ministry for Environment. The Ministry is required to form a technical commission to review the study, organise a public hearing and make the study available to the public for comment within 30 days.

Subject to all of these approvals being granted, it is expected that construction will begin in early 2022, with the first saleable production expected in 2026.

Innovation

Jadar will be a modern industrial operation, including a digitally networked underground mine, monitored in real-time from a centralised operations centre. We also plan to minimise carbon emissions and energy consumption by using a fleet of almost entirely electric vehicles in the underground mine.

After performing around 2,000 chemical tests, our team of Serbian and international experts developed a new processing technology for Jadar’s three final products: boric acid, battery grade lithium carbonate and sodium sulphate. This technology was successfully proven at a purpose-built pilot plant at our research centre in Melbourne, Australia, using drilled core samples from the Jadar ore body. We plan to relocate this plant to Serbia in 2021 so that it is available for further process development and to provide training opportunities for the next generation of Serbian processing and chemical engineers.

We will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate that meets the strict quality assurance standards required by the electric vehicle industry.

 

Environment

We know that our work, by its very nature, impacts the environment, and we seek to minimise and mitigate any adverse impacts from our operations throughout the full mining cycle – exploration to closure. To do this, we work closely with our host communities, regulators and other stakeholders to map, plan and manage potential impacts in a responsible way.

We recognise that we must pass strict independent environmental assessments, which are currently being conducted, before the project is permitted.

We have already conducted 12 environmental studies and more than 23,000 analyses of soil, water, air and noise. These will help develop the Environmental Impact Assessment studies (EIA), allowing us to build a comprehensive picture of the environment before mining begins, predict the impacts, including cumulative impacts of our future operations and define measures to minimise them.

We have set up a local Committee for Environmental Protection where the community can get involved, raise concerns and ask questions.

The studies we have done – and are doing now as part of the Feasibility Study – are helping us to continue to build our understanding and improve processes. It is through continued research that we were able to change our waste from slurry tailings to filter cakes, for example, which means we can reduce the amount of waste being stored.

Waste management

Our goal is to produce zero waste. Right from the start, we are designing the project to minimise the amount of waste we produce.

The Jadar mine and processing facility will generate two types of waste: rock material from the underground mine – from which jadarite cannot be extracted – and industrial waste produced when processing jadarite.

The waste rock from the proposed mine will be placed on a waste rock dump adjacent to the mine shafts. The industrial process waste is a combination of three residue streams produced during different stages of processing. Approximately 30% of the total process waste will be returned to the underground mine as backfill. The remaining residue is combined, the moisture level reduced, and then transported to the landfill site for storage.

The waste storage area will include a state-of-the-art system for monitoring the air, water and soil quality, to ensure that we minimise and manage potential impacts to the environment. And we will progressively rehabilitate the land in this area.

Water management

We have done a lot of work to understand the hydrology and to help us understand how we can manage our water use in the best possible way and continue to do so.

We are using water from three sources:

  1. Removing and treating water from the underground mine
  2. Collecting surface runoff from the mining and process facilities (eg rainfall)
  3. Extracting groundwater from alluvium deposited by the Drina river, near Lipnicki Sor. This area has been previously disturbed by gravel extraction and has little potential as a high-quality water source. Water will not be sourced directly from the Drina river bed.

The inclusion of a dedicated water management facility on site will result in approximately 70% of the raw water coming from recycled sources (run off) or treated mine water.

 

Jadar Project

Economic contribution

Jadar will be a major employer in the region and in Serbia. During the construction phase, it will require a workforce of around 2,100 and once in production, there will be 1,000 mining and processing jobs, Jadar will be the largest greenfield mining investment in Serbia making , making a one per cent direct and four percent indirect contribution to the GDP of Serbia, with many Serbian suppliers being involved in the construction of the mine. We are committed to helping develop local businesses so that they can support the operation over the coming decades.

Jadar communities

The support of the Jadar local communities and government has been – and will remain – fundamental to our ability to develop the project. There are understandable concerns among community members because people want to know we’re managing any potential health, environment and social impacts carefully. We recognise that in progressing this project, we must listen to and respect the views of all stakeholders. We are committed to upholding the highest environmental standards and building sustainable futures for the communities we operate in.

We have dedicated channels of communication, such as open day events where anyone interested can talk to our experts, ask questions and learn about the potential environmental impacts of the Jadar project. This regular engagement is helping us understand community priorities, concerns and expectations. And it informs our environmental experts’ knowledge, so they can consider adjustments in the plans for the mine, processing plant and associated infrastructure.

We have held events about the environment, air and water quality, noise pollution, biodiversity, spatial planning, cultural heritage, property and legal affairs and opportunities for local suppliers.

Donations and sponsorships

Our local community donations and sponsorship programme began in 2019. To date, we have donated to support local initiatives in education, health and safety and environment. This includes our COVID-19 response and recovery support donations to:

  • the Red Cross in Belgrade
  • the Red Cross in Loznica for essential food and hygiene items for the cities’ most vulnerable citizens
  • UNICEF in Serbia, as part of the volunteer initiative Donate and Duplicate, to which more than 50% of Jadar employees contributed

In 2019, we established the Local Roads Committee to help us manage the use and maintenance of local roads by our employees and the local community – to ensure we can all share the roads safely and efficiently. The Committee is made up of members of the local community, Public Enterprise Loznica Razvoj – the municipality department responsible for road maintenance – and a Rio Tinto road engineer.

Recognising that local agriculture is essential to the lives and livelihoods of the community, we joined Poljosavet, a local agricultural advisory company, to support over 400 farmers through one day events, household visits and phone consultations. This initiative is supported by the Loznica-based Regional Development Agency (RDA), the City of Loznica and the Brezjak Community office.

Information on how to apply for funding is available at the Rio Tinto Information Centres in Loznica and Brezjak.

Land acquisition

We are conducting land acquisition in line with Serbian law and global best practices, as well as Performance Standard 5 of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) and our own internal standards.

We understand the weight of the decision facing the owners, and we are committed to ensuring this is done in a transparent, sensitive and fair manner. We have a dedicated team in regular dialogue with the local landowners and communities, supported by a team of certified land and asset valuers with Serbian and international experience.

We are conducting the land acquisition programme with all landowners through negotiated agreements, and we will continue to have open and transparent relationships with all interested landowners. The way that compensation is calculated has been explained in detail to landowners. In summary, we will cover the following costs:

  • Value of replacing the land and assets at the cost of a full replacement
  • Replacement value for buildings, such as homes and farming infrastructure, at the cost of a full replacement
  • Residential allowance for landowners needing to relocate
  • Additional payment for landowners moving early
  • Property transfer tax, transactions costs, such as notary and public register fees

We will also provide:

  • Expert legal support to landowners needing to solve property issues related to their land
  • Legal support for landowners to secure tenure and ownership documentation for land purchases
  • Finding an alternative home and agriculture land

Our goal is to ensure that both sides benefit from the acquisition process and that landowners have the same or better quality of life and work compared to the one they had before the move. In accordance with international standards, we are committed to supporting the process of restoring or improving the source of income for people whose lives may be affected by land purchases. Plans to restore the source of income will be prepared together with the households affected, encouraging them to actively participate in the process of defining the plan and to meet the needs of their household and local community.

 

Drill Rigs, Jadar

Contact Jadar

Loznica

4 Gimnazijska Street
15300 Loznica
Serbia
T +381 15 872 834

Brezjak

9 Stevana Sindjelica Street
15309 Brezjak
Serbia
T +381 15 610 223