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Rio Tinto’s Serbia chief: Jadar project committed to high environmental standards

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We believe in the Jadar project and we believe that it is possible to carry it out in accordance with the highest environmental standards, Rio Tinto’s Country Head for Serbia Marijanti Babic told the daily Novosti, noting that it would not be possible to sell lithium that is not produced to the highest environmental standards.

The Jadar project is one of the most promising and best explored lithium deposits in Europe, with great potential to place Serbia among the countries that will play a key role in the green transition at world level, said Babic.

She said this project can only be realized if fully honoring Serbian laws and European Union regulations, noting that Europe is introducing a “battery passport,” which is a digital certificate that stores information about a battery’s production and sustainability of materials used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

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Babic explained that, if the project were to be carried out, the planned investment would amount to 2,55 billion euros. According to 2011 data, it would provide 3,500 jobs, and 1,300 employees would work in exploitation and processing for the next few decades, she said.

Estimates show that the state would earn some 180 million euros annually from taxes and mining rent, which is about one percent of state budget revenues, said Babic.

She added that an agreement on the realization of the project has not been signed, but only a memorandum of 2017 providing for a framework for cooperation in the realization of the project.

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