Swiss mining company Arcor and Canadian company Rock Tech have signed a partnership agreement that will include the distribution of lithium from Lopare in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and according to their claims supply Mercedes. Despite fierce local opposition.
“Lithium carbonate will be mined in an environmentally and socially responsible way at Arkor’s mine in Lopare, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then Roc Tech will convert it into lithium hydroxide ‘Made in Germany’,” they announced, Klix.ba reported.
Rock Tech is also building its first facility in Germany to produce lithium hydroxide for the battery and automotive industries from 2026. Among other things, the company has already signed sales contracts with the Mercedes-Benz group.
In an exploration phase that has been ongoing since 2018, Arkor has confirmed deposits of lithium carbonate as well as boron, potassium and magnesium sulfate in a mine near Lopare. As Nicolas Trend, head of the Board of Directors of Arcor points out, the site is unique in the world in terms of its size and geological structure.
Estimates are that in the Lopare area there are deposits of 1,5 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent, 14 million tons of boron, 35 million tons of potassium and 94 million tons of magnesium sulfate.
Local municipality community and public are against any mining exploration so it remains to be seen how the Swiss and Canadian developers plan to overcome this situation with fierce opposition from local citizens and start further project activities. Also remains the question on how will Mercedes shareholders react on supplier ESG issues on project location.