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BELGRADE (Serbia), April 8 (SeeNews) - Serbia aims to attract investors willing to produce electric vehicles in the municipality of Loznica, where Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto is developing the Jadar lithium-borate project, the mayor of Loznica, Vidoje Petrovic, said.
"We hope that investors from the automotive sector may come to Loznica to produce cars and machines powered by lithium batteries," Petrovic said in a video file posted on the website of Serbian news agency Tanjug on Sunday.
Rio Tinto discovered the lithium borate deposit in the valley of Jadar river, near the town of Loznica, in western Serbia, in 2004 and plans to start production in 2023. Jadar is estimated to contain 10% of the world's deposits of lithium, the primary raw material for the production of batteries for electric vehicles.
According to Serbian media reports, Jadar is the main advantage of Serbia in the race for attracting a project for construction of a car factory by Volkswagen in Southeast Europe.
"Our goal is to have finished products besides the semi-products, in order to involve a larger number of citizens and companies," Petrovic said.
Earlier this month, Marnie Finlayson, the country head for Serbia of Rio Tinto, said the company is drafting the project documentation for the construction of the Jadar lithium borate mine. Under current plans, Jadar will be an underground mine, with the opportunity for future expansion if demand warrants it, daily newspaper The Australian reported in March.
The Jadar lithium borate discovery in Serbia is estimated at 135.7 million tonnes with a weighted average concentration of 1.86% of lithium oxide, representing one of the largest lithium deposits in the world.