Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO)
committed $2.4 billion to the Jadar lithium-borates project in Serbia, subject to receiving all relevant approvals.
The Jadar project would scale up Rio Tinto’s exposure to battery materials and strengthen its portfolio for the global energy transition.
Jadar will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a critical mineral used in large scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy and borates, used in solar panels and wind turbines.
Jadar aims to be one of the largest industrial investments in Serbia. It will also create 2,100 jobs during construction and 1,000 mining and processing jobs once in production.
Rio Tinto's chief executive Jakob Stausholm said: "Serbia and Rio Tinto will be well-positioned to capture the opportunity offered by rising demand for lithium. It could supply enough lithium to power over one million electric vehicles per year."
Shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO)
are trading 0.6 per cent lower at $131.63.