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Rio Tinto pilot-testing recovery, development process of new mineral

Rio Tinto metallurgists and chemical engineers are testing a process they expect to use in developing a unique Serbian mineral deposit and the miner's first new mining product in decades, The Australian reported Aug. 12.

The company is aiming to develop a top-three global lithium mine at the Jadar lithium deposit to cater to the growing demand for batteries.

A pilot plant is being developed in Bundoora, located 16 kilometers from Rio Tinto's headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, to assess how to process the mineral called jadarite, known only to occur at the Serbian project.

According to the report, Rio Tinto will transfer the plant to Serbia, where large amounts of the mineral were discovered in 2004, should the tests prove successful.