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Rajoni

Lithium mine construction, Financial Times: Vucic gives green light

Lithium mine construction, Financial Times: Vucic gives green light

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is preparing to give Rio Tinto the green light to build Europe's largest lithium mine, two years after Belgrade canceled the project,  the Financial Times reported on Sunday .

Vucic told the newspaper that "new guarantees" from the global mining giant and the European Union seem likely to address Serbia's concerns if the necessary environmental standards are met in the western Jadar valley.

Rio Tinto said in a statement to Reuters: "We believe that the Jadar Project has the potential to become a world-class asset that can serve as a catalyst for the development of the EV [electric vehicle] chain in Serbia."

Designated a critical material by the EU and the United States, lithium is used in electric vehicle and mobile phone batteries.

Vucic said the mine could open in 2028, adding that it is expected to produce 58,000 tonnes of lithium per year, which would be "enough for 17 percent of EV production in Europe - 1.1 million cars approximately".

In 2022, Belgrade withdrew the license for the $2.4 billion Rio project after massive protests.

In 2021 and 2022, environmental activists in Serbia collected 30,000 signatures on a petition asking Parliament to pass legislation to stop lithium exploration in the country./REL