01.06.2021. - 12:50
Meeting with the Rio Tinto delegation
President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić met earlier today with the Rio Tinto company delegation led by Executive Director Jakob Stausholm, to discuss current and potential projects, as well as modalities of comprehensive cooperation that would not be limited to ore exploration and exploitation, but that would rather include the wider economic development of the Mačva district and the whole of Serbia.
President Vučić thanked the company representatives for their readiness to discuss open issues and for their commitment and understanding regarding the requirements for transparent work and fulfilment of the most demanding conditions in the field of ecology.
"All projects to be implemented in this area must meet the highest environmental and technological standards because there is no healthy economic development without preserving a healthy environment," said President Vučić, emphasising that the state will rigorously observe the application of the strictest environmental measures.
The company representatives informed President Vučić about the current course of work in Serbia and emphasised that by the end of this year they will complete the feasibility study phase, as well as the study on environmental impact assessment to start the exploitation of jadarite minerals. By the end of 2021, a total of 450 million dollars will be invested in the "Jadar" project and geological research, development of processing technology, preparation of studies and project development.
Both sides agreed that the strategy of cooperation between Rio Tinto and the Republic of Serbia must include a long-term contribution to the local community development, a responsible approach towards the environment and general economic prosperity.
"Considering that the jadarite deposit is one of the largest in the world in terms of lithium content, I expect that a full chain of added value will be established in cooperation with the state, not only for the Mačva district and the city of Loznica but for the whole of Serbia," the President emphasised, adding his expectation that in addition to the future mining and industrial complex "Jadar", the project will also include factories for the production of batteries and lithium-dependant products to create as many new jobs as possible.
Rio Tinto CEO Stausholm stressed that the company remains firmly committed to building long-term partnerships.
"As a company, we strive to establish a relationship of mutual respect with landowners, the local community and the Government of the Republic of Serbia, but also with all other partners throughout the period of our business operations," Stausholm said, adding that the company is ready to cooperate with the state to contribute to local development to the greatest extent in the economic field.
He pointed out that a team of experts from all over the world in the fields of geology, mining, production technologies and environmental protection is working to bring this project in line with the highest world standards, thus laying the foundation for a large mining and metallurgical greenfield project such as 'Jadar', a 2 billion USD worth investment in Serbia.
The meeting was also attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabić, the Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović, the Minister of Environmental Protection Irena Vujović and the Advisor to the President of the Republic for Investments, Danilo Cicmil.
VIDEO MATERIAL CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM THE FTP SERVER OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE.
1st June 2021