Rio Tinto keen for talks to revive Serbian lithium project

  • Serbia blocked mine after mass environmental protests
  • Rio says Jadar has “impeccable” environmental credentials
  • Rio says Jadar offers big economic opportunity for Serbia

MELBOURNE, May 5 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) is eager to reopen talks with the Serbian government about its $2.4 billion Jadar lithium project, which was blocked ahead of the country’s recent election, the company’s chief executive and chairman said on Thursday.

The Serbian government revoked licenses for the Jadar project in January after massive protests sparked by environmental concerns about the planned mine.

“We very much hope that we will be able to discuss all of the options with the government of Serbia now the elections are out of the way,” Thompson told shareholders at the company’s Australian annual meeting, in Rio Tinto’s first public comments following the election.

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