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Ban Djokovic. The Serbian government has revoked the license from Rio Tinto

Ban Djokovic.  The Serbian government has revoked the license from Rio Tinto

The echoes of Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australia continue. The leader of the ATP world rankings has been deported from the country by a decision of the Minister of Immigration after confusion over his stance against vaccination against COVID-19. Djokovic came to Australia on special medical clearance, but eventually, after several days of confusion, was unable to perform at the Australian Open.

The 34-year-old has left Antipodes, but the decision to deport him could cause severe tensions in Serbia’s economic relations with Australia. The first decisions have already been made. The Serbian government will decide to revoke Australian billionaire Rio Tinto’s license to search for lithium, an ingredient needed to produce solar batteries and electric cars. In this way, Serbia wants to stop the implementation of the Li-Gadar project, whose value is estimated at $3.3 billion. If its implementation is successful, the Australian giant will be among the world’s leading miners.

The Australian listed company committed to the project last year as the global mining industry expanded its activities to extract minerals needed for the green energy transition, including lithium, which is used to make electric car batteries.

The mine was expected to produce enough lithium to power a million electric cars, as well as boric acid used in ceramics and batteries and sodium sulfate used in detergents. At full capacity, the mine was expected to produce 58,000 tons of refined lithium carbonate for batteries annually, making it the largest lithium mine by production in Europe.

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According to the Daily Mail, the decision is to deport a Serbian tennis player from Australia, and the government has complied with the protests of environmentalists in Serbia, who openly opposed the establishment of the aforementioned mine. There have been protests in this issue last year.

– The Serbian Prime Minister, Anna Brnabic, said that we listen to our citizens and our task is to protect their interests, even if we think otherwise.

The Jadar project, one of the largest foreign investments in Serbia, was part of the government’s efforts to attract investment and stimulate economic growth.

The project was suspended at least until elections scheduled for April in Serbia.

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