By Christian Moess Laursen

Rio Tinto said studies show that its $2.55-billion lithium project in Serbia, which was scrapped in 2022 after local protests, is environmentally safe.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant on Thursday made public draft environmental studies conducted over six-and-a-half years.

"The scientific research shows that the Jadar Project can be developed safely while adhering to the highest domestic and international environmental protection standards," Rio Tinto said.

Lithium is a key metal for the energy transition and largely used in electric-vehicle batteries, as well as mobile devices.

Jadar is one of the world's largest lithium deposits and could supply enough lithium to power more than one million electric vehicles per year, according to Rio Tinto.

In early 2022 the Serbian government revoked the company's licenses following community protests over environmental concerns.

"All known potential risks were identified in the studies, and appropriate mitigation measures were proposed, demonstrating that the project can be implemented responsibly and safely," Prof. Aleksandar Jovovic, who led two of the studies, said.

Write to Christian Moess Laursen at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-13-24 1109ET