Date: 24/07/2017

Memorandum of Understanding between Rio Tinto and Government of Serbia

Rio Tinto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Serbia in respect to the implementation of the Jadar Project. The MoU will enable the formation of joint working groups between the government and the company to progress the Jadar Project through the study and permitting phases, as per the law.

The Jadar project, which Rio Tinto is developing in Serbia, is related to a world-class lithium-borate deposit. If developed, the production could supply a significant proportion of global demand for lithium and borates. The project is currently in the middle study stages with operation expected to commence in 2023 if feasibility studies confirm viability and all necessary approvals are obtained.

“We are pleased to have progressed the signing of the MoU today in Belgrade. It lays the foundation to progress the project through future stages and brings Serbia and Rio Tinto closer to becoming a leading source of global lithium and borate production”, said Simon Trott, Rio Tinto Salt, Uranium and Borates division managing director.

Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of Serbia, said “Rio Tinto has, so far, invested USD 90 million in the Jadar project and I believe that the signing of the MoU will speed up the activities related to the process of opening a mine and the beginning of the exploitation of lithium, which will have capital effect on the development of Serbia. Progress of the Jadar project in a timely manner, and its implementation, will make Serbia the key producer of the two very important elements – lithium and boron – both of which are important for modern development. In that way, we will give a push to the economic growth of Serbia.”

The Jadar project could bring sustainable benefits to Serbia and local communities across many generations and over many decades. The project would be developed in line with the highest international health and safety, environmental and communities’ standards. If the project receives all approvals, the company could invest substantial capital through construction to design and build the mine and new, innovative processing technology for jadarite.