Jadarite on display at the Natural History Center in Svilajnac, Serbia
|Crystal class||Prismatic (2/m) |
(same H-M symbol)
|Unit cell||a = 6.816(2), b = 13.789(2) |
c = 6.758(2) [Å]; β = 111.08(2)°; Z = 4
|Formula mass||219.46 g/mol|
|Crystal habit||As microscopic anhedral grains|
|Fracture||Irregular to conchoidal|
|Mohs scale hardness||4 - 5|
|Diaphaneity||Translucent to opaque|
|Ultraviolet fluorescence||Weak pink to orange under UV|
Discovery and classification
Jadarite was discovered in December 2004, in drill core from the Jadar Valley (Serbian: Јадар) in Serbia, from which it is named. The find was located 10 km (6.2 mi) southwest of the Cer mountain. Findings were originally located in the villages of Jarebice and Slatina and later in Draginac.
Exploration geologists from Rio Tinto Exploration discovered the mineral as small rounded nodules in drill core, and were unable to match it with previously known minerals. Jadarite was confirmed as a new mineral after scientists at the Natural History Museum in London and the National Research Council of Canada conducted tests on it. Chris Stanley, from the Natural History Museum, described Jadarite as being unique to mineralogy.
The mineral discovery may be commercially important because the mineral contains lithium and boron, both relatively rare industrially important elements. Lithium is used for lithium batteries; boron is used in alloys, ceramic, glasses, and other applications.
It is 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. Of that, the Lower Jadar ore deposit has 114.5 million tons with an average content of the profitable components of 1.8% of lithium oxide and 13.1% of boron oxide.
In May 2017, Rio Tinto announced that the Jadar area has one of the largest lithium deposits in the world, lifting Lower Jadar's deposits to 136 million tons. The company stated that the ore deposit's mineral resource estimation confirmed the quality of the mineral. Extraction is scheduled to begin in 2023, with a projected underground exploitability of 50 years.
As of May 2017[update], construction of a mine has not begun. A jadarite processing plant next to the mines, which will process the ore into lithium carbonate and boric acid, is also planned. The prototype facility has been constructed by the scientists from Serbia, Australia, and USA, and is being tested in Melbourne. Testing includes the processing of the jadarite concentrate.
On 25 July 2017 a memorandum was signed by Rio Tinto and the Government of Serbia, represented by the prime minister Ana Brnabić, which confirmed the year 2023 as the starting year, but also revealed that only now the working groups will be formed, studies will be conducted, and the process of issuing the permits will begin. The entire enterprise was named "Project Jadar".
Jadarite's chemical formula is similar but not identical to the formula ("sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide with fluorine") invented for the fictional substance kryptonite in the 2006 film Superman Returns. This coincidence attracted mass-media attention in 2007, shortly after jadarite's discovery..
- "Jadarite". mindat.org. 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
- Webmineral data
- Tanjug (25 May 2009), "Jadarski kriptonit nije na prodaju", Politika (in Serbian)
- S.Trifunović (18 June 2009). "Jadarit još čeka" (in Serbian). Politika.
- Aleksandar Apostolovski (17 April 2010). "Supermen oboren u Jadru" (in Serbian). Politika.
- Whitfield, Pamela. LiNaSiB3O7(OH) a novel structure of the new borosilicate mineral jadarite determined from laboratory powder diffraction data Acta Crystallographica Section B Structural Science, International Union of Crystallography, DOI 10.1107/S0108768107010130, ISSN 0567-7408. (abstract).
- 'Kryptonite' discovered in mine. BBC News
- S.P. (22 November 2016). ""Rio Tinto" otvorila info centar: Sve informacije o najčuvenijem projektu "Jadar"" (in Serbian). Blic.
- Aleksandar Mikavica (20 May 2017), "Jadarit - novo srpsko zlato", Politika (in Serbian), p. 13
- "Proizvodnja litijuma od 2023.", Politika (in Serbian), p. 10, 25 July 2017
- "'Kryptonite' discovered in mine", BBC News, 24 Apr 2007
- Washington Post