Richard Ireland
(Rio Tinto)

Project Director – Jadar Project
Richard Ireland

Richard Ireland
(Rio Tinto)

Project Director – Jadar Project

Biography

Richard is the Project Director – Jadar Project at Rio Tinto.  Richard is a mining and project professional with nearly 20 years’ experience in operations, projects and due diligence across various commodities including lithium, coal, copper, gold and uranium, as well as civil tunnelling.

Richard’s goal for Jadar is to successfully lead the engineering and construction aspects of the study and project, guiding a cross functions/organisational team to deliver the business goals of the project and to develop and implement execution strategies for delivery of this world class project.  Richard is a Mining and Mineral Engineering graduate of the University of Queensland, where he also holds an MBA.

Abstract

Developing the Jadar Deposit in Serbia to a World Class Lithium and Borate Supplier

Discovered in 2004, Jadar is a unique deposit near the town of Loznica, Serbia.  It contains Jadarite – a new lithium sodium borosilicate mineral.  Jadar is the only place in the world where this mineral can be found.  Incidentally, Jadarite has a similar chemical composition of the fictional kryptonite of Superman fame.  

Lithium and borates are essential for our daily lives and a more energy efficient future.  Lithium is used in a vast array of products, most notably, batteries for hybrid and electric cars. Borates are building blocks for fiberglass, glass, ceramics, fertilisers, detergents, wood preservatives and numerous other products – many of which we use every day.

Jadar will be one of the lowest cost producers of lithium when it enters production.

Rio Tinto has spent more than US$90 million on the project to date, and is currently in prefeasibility.  The work includes completing ore-body knowledge studies, testing new recovery and processing methods, conducting mining trade-off studies, and collaborating with Serbian experts to conduct extensive environmental and socioeconomic analysis to lay the groundwork for efficient and responsible development.  An update of the current project status will be presented.