Rio Tinto said on Thursday it approved nearly $200 million for its Jardar lithium project in Serbia that will be used to fund its feasibility study.
The Anglo-Australian miner has already invested $450 million into the project and is hoping to complete the study and design work for the project by the end of next year as the world grows more environmentally-conscious.
“We look forward to working closely with the Government of Serbia over the next eighteen months as we develop and validate our understanding of the project to the point when we can seek a final investment decision by the Board of Rio Tinto,” Bold Baatar, Rio’s energy and minerals chief executive said.
The project in the western Serbian city of Loznica will include an underground mine and an industrial processing facility.
“Rio Tinto’s lithium project pipeline is an important part of our vision to pursue opportunities which are part of the transition to a low-carbon future,” Baatar added in a statement.
Lithium is a vital ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles and automakers are increasingly pursing an electric future, with leader Tesla Inc earlier in July reporting a surge in second-quarter deliveries.
(By Nikhil Kurian Nainan; Editing by Marguerita Choy)