Rio Tinto Aims for Jadar Lithium Production by 2026

Rio Tinto plc of England has committed US$2.4 billion to the Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia. The company says that the project would scale-up its exposure to battery materials, and demonstrate its commitment to investing capital in a disciplined manner to further strengthen its portfolio for the global energy transition.

The Jadar project will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate and position Rio Tinto as the largest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years. In addition, the project will produce borates, which are used in solar panels and wind turbines.

Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto Minerals’ CEO, said, “We have great confidence in the Jadar project and are ready to invest, subject to approvals. Serbia and Rio Tinto will be well-positioned to capture the opportunity offered by rising demand for lithium, driven by the global energy transition and the project will strengthen our offering, particularly to the European market. It could supply enough lithium to power over one million electric vehicles per year.“

The first saleable production is expected in 2026. Following ramp-up to full production in 2029, the mine will produce 58,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 160,000 tonnes of boric acid and 225,000 tonnes of sodium sulfate annually. Based on this annual production of lithium carbonate, Rio Tinto aims to produce 2-3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate over the expected 40-year life of mine.

Volume 35, Issue 14

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