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After winning the election, Vucic gave the green light for lithium extraction in Serbia

After winning the election, Vucic gave the green light for lithium extraction in Serbia

In the wall– The valley in western Serbia will be the largest Lithium– European deposits are questionable. It has not been dismantled yet, Mr. President Aleksandar Vucic But I would like to change that. Anglo Australian Mining Company Rio Tinto It already exists in the starting blocks.

Just two years ago, the Serbian government banned the company from pursuing the project any further. The decisive factor was the massive protests over concerns about environmental protection. After the electoral victory of the nationalist Serbian Progressive Party in December 2023 and in the municipal elections at the beginning of June, Vucic now appears to feel confident in continuing to pursue the project.

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“I really believe this could be a game-changer for Serbia and the entire region.” Financial Times. Rio Tinto has given assurances that it will adhere to the most stringent environmental protection standards. The group has high hopes for the region and announced that it will invest several billion euros.

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Vucic hopes to obtain investments from the European Union. Lithium should not be exported, but processed in Serbia. According to Vucic, the entire value chain, up to the final battery, should take place in Serbia.

The geopolitics of commodities

Lithium is an important raw material in the energy transition, especially for batteries in electric cars. There are deposits in Europe, but no significant production. The largest producers are Australia, Chile and China. Europe must import lithium. According to estimates, the reserves in Serbia will be sufficient to build more than one million electric cars annually. The mine will not be able to enter service until 2028 at the earliest.

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Politically, Serbia stands among the major blocs. The country has had candidate status for EU membership since 2012. At the same time, it is considered friendly to Russia and has not joined any sanctions. Serbia also has good relations with China. It supports the “New Silk Road” project and concluded a free trade agreement only in the fall of 2023.