Is lithium Serbian oil?, News
Lithium could be Serbian oil, because on the territory of our country there are 10 percent of the world’s reserves of this metal, which is used in the production of batteries and for which the demand is constantly growing. At the moment, lithium is one of the most sought after raw materials in the world. Some call it the “gold of the 21st century”, primarily because of its reputation for growth in the electrical industry, and many also call it a metal whose exploitation is very complicated.
Mobile phones and electric cars operate with lithium batteries, and since giants like Tesla, Google and Apple are planning significant investments in the electric vehicle sector, this could lead to further growth in demand. Bloomberg recently estimated that by 2030, the consumption of lithium batteries will increase eightfold.
The countries currently leading in lithium exploitation are Australia, Chile, Argentina, China, Zimbabwe, Portugal and Brazil, and the largest reserves of lithium in Europe, according to previous estimates, are in Serbia.
Near Loznica, there is one of the world’s largest deposits of jadarite, from which lithium is extracted, and the reserves of ore in the Adriatic basin, in Western Serbia, are estimated at 136 million tons. The stock of raw materials was discovered in 2004, and in the same place, in addition to lithium, there are also large quantities of pine.
It is believed that the deposit of jadarite ore is located in 20 other locations throughout Serbia that extend all the way to Zajecar, and that the results of the initial research are even more impressive in those places.
According to the available data, Serbia has 10% of the world’s lithium at its disposal, and that is a huge wealth and a great potential that has not been used yet.
A few days ago, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, stated that Serbia expects a lot from the lithium deposit, but that we will not be able to have the effects of exploitation for at least another year, a year and a half. He also noted that lithium extraction is complicated and called on research companies to speed up work to start production.
He also added that a decision was made not to export lithium freely.
“When we build factories here, we will export in a controlled manner,” said Vucic, noting that these are electric bus and car factories that we could already have so far.
Exactly in that direction, the expectations of the residents of Loznica and the surrounding area are moving. Namely, the local residents hope that in addition to the exploitation and processing of ore in their area, production plants could be built, and that would mean new employments. Currently, local caterers and those who provide accommodation to an increasing number of researchers benefit the most.
“I hope that, and we are working on that with ‘Rio Tinto’, we will move their development center here, which is currently in Australia, so that all scientific and research activities and all laboratory tests will be here, and that will be the first great success. And then we work together and to locate the third important partner in this whole story, and that is the partner who will use that lithium to develop here whether batteries or electric cars,” said the Prime Minister Ana Brnabic at the end of February this year and announced that the beginning of construction of a chemical plant for processing the mineral jadarite is expected at the end of 2021, Blic reports.
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