Rio Tinto has confirmed that its Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia, Europe will take four years to construct.
The company plans for Jadar to comprise an underground mine, processing and waste facilities as well as associated infrastructure.
Jadar is one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in development, envisaged to produce around 55,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate as well as 160,000 tonnes of boric acid.
The production of boric acid would solidify Rio Tinto’s position in the glass and fertiliser markets.
The company also intends to produce 255,000 of sodium sulfate as by-products per annum.
Rio Tinto is now in the process of completing the Jadar feasibility study, which is expected to conclude at the end of next year.
“Pre-feasibility studies have shown that the Jadar project has the potential to produce both battery grade lithium carbonate and boric acid,” Rio Tinto stated.
“The deposit is located on the doorstep of the European Union, one of the fastest growing electric vehicle (EV) markets in the world, and has the potential to provide lithium products into the EV value chain for decades.”
Rio Tinto has also declared a maiden ore reserve of 16.6 million tonnes at 1.81 per cent lithium oxide and 13.4 per cent boron trioxide.
“Declaration of resources and reserves is an important milestone as the project progresses towards the award of an exploitation license, the precursor to a construction licence,” Rio Tinto stated.