An Economic Impact Assessment of the Jadar Lithium-Borates Project

How the economic profile of Loznica could look like with the Jadar Project

Development of the Jadar project would bring tangible economic benefits both to the national and local economy in terms of, among others, payments to government, demand for local goods and services, and new jobs.

Reinvigorating Loznica’s industrial heritage

The Jadar project development would further support local economic rejuvenation, including through high- skilled employment and business opportunities. The estimated life of the mine would bring multigenerational benefits for decades to come.

Employment opportunities

The project has the potential to be one of Loznica’s largest employers. Rio Tinto estimates a permanent operational phase workforce of around 1,300. Of this total, an estimated 205 would be leadership positions, over 735 professional roles requiring technical training, and 360 operator roles.

A tax boost for Loznica

Nearly €25 million of all taxes and royalties would be received by the municipality of Loznica. In total, direct payments to Loznica’s authorities can be expected to double its annual budget. With increased budget, Loznica would be able to fund local infrastructure and services.

Public infrastructure improvements

Greenfield mining projects require public infrastructure and utility connections, which help to accelerate private investment and magnify total economic impact. These typically include roads, railways, water, power and natural gas, which will support both the mining project and regional communities nearby.

Agricultural production

The underground mine minimizes the project footprint and would allow farming to continue above the surface. Processing technology has been designed to achieve regulatory compliance for water quality, emissions, and other environmental standards.


Multigenerational project as Jadar would contribute the investments in young generations. Cooperation with universities, technical colleges and secondary schools, and embracing most modern technologies would be long-term value, both for future employees and the company and the suppliers and contractors who support it.

New business opportunities

The project would open new business opportunities. It would purchase goods and services worth over €300 million each year.

The Jadar development fund

In addition to the economic value that Jadar would create, our company will establish a long-term Fund to finance and deliver investments in the area of influence of Jadar operations. The Jadar Development Fund will dedicate €5 million annually, for a minimum of 10 years to support initiatives that align with local economic development strategies and community aspirations. Rio Sava Exploration has proposed that the fund target green and sustainable economic initiatives, primarily within the municipalities of Loznica and Krupanj. Focus sectors are expected to include agriculture, tourism, industry, and conservation.

Economic benefits for the country

With an estimated capital investment of at least €2.55 billion the Jadar project would be the single largest foreign direct investment in Serbia’s modern history. This is in addition to the €475 million that has been spent to date studying the project.

Beyond these opportunities, Jadar operations will generate synergies with the rest of the economy, supporting further activity through its indirect and induced economic effects. Once indirect and induced impacts are accounted for, the anticipated economy-wide contribution to GDP is estimated at €1.9 billion – equivalent to more than 3% of Serbia’s current GDP.

Look into the future – the new economy era could start with the Jadar

Opportunities to develop new lithium mining and processing facilities are only the start.

With mineral resources sufficient for multi-decade operations, the Jadar could establish Serbia as a globally important producer of battery-grade lithium carbonate and boric acid, and in doing so position Serbia as central to the emerging global green economy.

The electromobility revolution opens multiple high- value opportunities for Serbia. Serbia could consolidate a regional e-mobility hub that can include battery development, electric vehicle manufacturing, and recycling.

Serbia is well-positioned to attract further investment as Europe looks to develop new supply sources.

With global investment of over €1 trillion forecast in the e-mobility sector alone by 2030, the global transport revolution offers Serbia an exceptional opportunity to capture a part of the global investment in the e-mobility value chain by vertically integrating downstream projects with Jadar.

Analysis suggests that vertical integration in the e-mobility ecosystem could multiply the Jadar project’s initial FDI and job creation impacts:

• €6.2 bn in new FDI
• >21,000 new high-skill, high-paying jobs

Why the Jadar is the unique opportunity

As economies around the world become greener and cleaner at the heart of this transformation lies a key metal – lithium.

Lithium-ion batteries dominate energy storage technologies

What sets the Jadar Project apart?


Jadarite is a unique mineral resource, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Jadar deposit is large in volume, high quality and strategically located.


The Jadar Project is well- positioned to succeed in increasingly competitive lithium and boron markets. It has the potential to produce internationally significant quantities of lithium carbonate and boric acid, supplying a substantial proportion of global demands.


The Jadar Project would produce essential intermediate outputs for unlocking an energy efficient future, whilst maintaining impeccable ESG commitments throughout and beyond the lifespan of the mine.

Lithium demand is fueled by the e-mobility revolution

Demand for electric vehicles is predicted to overtake demand for internal combustion engines across several critical markets in the next two decades.

Lithium demand past and forecast

Lithium demand (kt lithium carbonate equivalent).

We are aware that economic growth cannot come at the expense of the environment and social preservation. Responsible modern mining incorporates measures to minimize the potential of adverse impact on the ecosystem and local populations. For us, it will always be critical to ensure that rigorous environmental and social assurance measures are in place.

The Economic Impact Assessment of the Jadar lithium-borates project has been commissioned by Rio Tinto to assess its forecast contribution to the economy of Serbia. The assessment contemplates not only the value created, jobs generated, and taxes to be paid by the project itself - but also looks at additional economic activity arising both through the supply chain and increased household incomes. This report has been prepared by Ergo Strategy Group, an independent strategy and policy advisory firm. While Ergo Strategy Group exercises reasonable care when making forecasts or predictions, the nature of economic modelling is inherently subject to a range of assumptions that intro- duce a degree of uncertainty. In particular, royalties and tax payments – and their timing – will be highly dependent on many factors, including commodity prices, exchange rates, capital costs to develop the project, project schedule, operating costs and financing arrangements.

In the case of lithium carbonate, this assessment uses the average of long-term forecasts by lithium market analysts –based on a $15k/t LC price. For boric acid, prices are extrapolated from historic trends.

A CAPEX price of over EUR2,55 billion was determined in the year 2021.

All financial values have been reported in Euros. Where necessary, US$ figures have been converted to Euros at a rate of US$1=€0.95.