Rio Tinto: The Jadar project would bring Serbia 1.5 billion dollars a year

Rio Tinto’s Jadar project, which involves opening a lithium and pine mine near Loznica, is expected to contribute $ 1.5 billion a year in gross value added in Serbia, or 1.2 percent of the country’s current GDP. , it was said today at the presentation of the Economic Impact Assessment of that project.

“The direct contribution of this project to the GDP of Serbia on an annual level would be 627 million dollars, indirect 589 million dollars and induced 296 million dollars,” said professor of the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade Dragan Loncar on behalf of the author of the study “Peterhof Consulting”.

He pointed out that through direct employment and jobs in related activities, the project would provide jobs for more than 5,000 people, 1,170 directly employed, as well as 3,950 jobs in related sectors.

“The expected annual contribution of the ‘Jadar’ project to the profit tax would be close to 70 million dollars, 32 million dollars of ore rent, 2.7 million dollars of property tax, 20.9 million dollars of dividend tax and 7.4 million dollars is the projected amount taxes on salaries and contributions, which gives the total expected tax effect of 133 million dollars a year, “Loncar specified.

He added that the municipality of Loznica, according to the projection, would have an annual inflow of 17 million dollars, which is 62% of the city budget for this year.

The total procurement budget, which is planned for the period of exploitation of the project, is 3.7 billion dollars, and it refers to the procurement of machines, raw materials, energy. The projection is that at least 70 percent would use the potentials of domestic suppliers, which means that annually. Rio Tinto ‘placed 84 million dollars towards them “, said Lončar.

He added that the projected average net salary would be $ 1,222 per worker, which is twice as much as the average for Serbia, or 40 percent higher than the average in the mining sector at the moment.

As he specified, the essence of the study was to assess the possible economic effects of the “Jadar” project on GDP, employment, exports, investments, tax revenues and revenues of domestic suppliers.

He pointed out that the study was made on the basis of data provided by the company “Rio Tinto”, as well as publicly available sources, and that it refers exclusively to direct, indirect and induced economic effects, ie that it is not a social cost benefit analysis and that there was no consideration of social and environmental impacts.

He added that the study was based on the exploitation of the mine for a period of 30 years, which is planned to be realized on an area of ​​about 300 hectares in the municipalities of Loznica and Krupanj.

He reminded that the complex is planned to produce approximately 58,000 tons of lithium carbonate, 160,000 tons of boric acid and 255,000 tons of sodium sulfate as by-products, whose users can be those who produce batteries for electric cars, solar panels, drugs, chemicals for treatment. wood, fertilizers.

The director of the company “Rio Sava”, a subsidiary of the company “Rio Tinto” in Serbia, Vesna Prodanović reminded that the company, after research and discovery of the mineral jadarite, commissioning of a pilot plant in Australia, several studies and research, decided this year to The Jadar project has invested $ 2.4 billion.

According to her, the “Jadar” project would be important for the transition to a low-carbon economy and would be the largest source of lithium reserves in Europe in the next 15 years, because the mineral jadarite contains two critical raw materials important for future development, namely boron and lithium.

She added that this would enable Serbia to be a leader in new solutions in the fight against climate change.

“Boric acid and lithium carbonate, which would be our products, are included in the list of critical raw materials of the EU because of the key role they play in the process of green transition,” said Prodanović.

She pointed out that the importance of lithium is being able to store electricity more efficiently than other elements, which is why it will be used for batteries for electric vehicles and large renewable energy storage systems, while borates are used to make wind turbines and solar panels.

“Increasing demand for lithium is expected in the coming decades. According to the World Bank, lithium production could increase by almost 500 percent by 2050. It is estimated that at least 18 times more lithium will be needed by 2030, and by In 2050, 60 times more lithium than the current need, “said the director of” Rio Save “.

She confirmed that the Study on Environmental Impact Assessment is being worked on, which according to the plan should be completed by the end of the year, emphasizing that it will be available to all interested parties for inspection.

The President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC), Marko Čadež, pointed out that “Serbia has lithium as the most sought-after fuel or gold of the 21st century, ie 158 million tons of reserves of the unique jadarite ore, which contains high concentrations of lithium.”

“The question is whether and how quickly we will be able to put this potential of Jadra into function, climate-wise, in a sustainable and responsible way,” said Cadez, pointing out that other countries in the world are working on exploring and exploiting their reserves.

He pointed out that the project could bring other large investors to Serbia, such as manufacturers of electric cars and vehicle batteries.

“It also opens up opportunities for domestic companies to be in the supply chain,” said the president of PKS.

By Editor

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