Jadarite, a mineral unique to the valley, contains lithium, a fundamental component in batteries, which is in increasing global demand thanks to the boom of the electric car industry. Experts believe that there could be as much as 200 million tonnes of lithium ore — a tenth of the world’s supply — in the land surrounding the town of Loznica, the region where Kokanovic farms.
“Could be” tells us that this isn’t a mineral reserve. This is, at best, a resource. And 200 million tonnes of ore grading 1.8% ain’t 10% of the world’s supply of anything.
It was originally estimated that there are 200 million tons of the lithium borate ore, which would make the future Jadar mines one of the world’s largest lithium deposits, supplying 10% of the world’s demand for lithium.. Later on, United States Geological Survey concluded that lithium supply is closer to 1.51% of world’s demand for lithium.
Even that’s not right because it’s still mixing and matching definitions. If it all exists, if it’s all mined, and if other people don;t open up other mines, then it might be that single percentage point or two of global supply. And at 3.6 million tonnes of, so far, resources:
Owing to continuing exploration, identified lithium resources have increased substantially
worldwide and total about 86 million tons. Lithium resources in the United States—from continental brines,
geothermal brines, hectorite, oilfield brines, and pegmatites—are 7.9 million tons. Lithium resources in other countries
have been revised to 78 million tons. Lithium resources are Bolivia, 21 million tons; Argentina, 19.3 million tons; Chile,
9.6 million tons; Australia, 6.4 million tons; China, 5.1 million tons; Congo (Kinshasa), 3 million tons; Canada,
2.9 million tons; Germany, 2.7 million tons; Mexico, 1.7 million tons; Czechia, 1.3 million tons; Serbia, 1.2 million tons;
Peru, 880,000 tons; Mali, 700,000 tons; Zimbabwe, 500,000 tons; Brazil, 470,000 tons; Spain, 300,000 tons; Portugal,
270,000 tons; Ghana, 90,000 tons; and Austria, Finland, Kazakhstan, and Namibia, 50,000 tons each.
Or, that 1.2 million more conservative resource indicated there for Serbia.
All of that before we even begin to think about seawater content, something that people are claiming they can extract economically now…..
It’s a nice deposit there in Serbia. But it ain’t a mineral reserve – Rio Tinto hasn’t even designed the extraction technique yet, let alone defined the deposit – and as a resource it’s a nice little addition to global supplies but no more than that.