The Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) reported on Friday that the Zijin Bor Copper company and one of its managers have been sentenced to pay a fine of 450,000 Dinars (1 Euro - 118 Dinars) for air pollution.
The Economic Court in Zajecar ruled in July that the company and the manager of its Copper Smelting and Refining plant Boban Todorovic were guilty of violating the law by allowing the plant to release excessive levels of sulphur-dioxide (SO2) into the air in the town of Bor on four occassions in November 2019 and January 2020, CINS said adding that the levels of SO2 were more than eight times higher than permitted by law according to the Environment Ministry which launched the court proceedings.
Both Zijin Bor Copper and Todorovic have the right to appeal the ruling as does the prosecution with a final ruling to be taken by the Economic Appeals Court in Belgrade where the case was sent on September 21. Prosecutors are demanding higher fines while the company lawyers want the ruling overturned.
CINS said that Zijin could have been fined up to three million Dinars but the court said that it had considered mitigating circumstances: the company showed social responsibility and is investing effort to reduce the pollution and the equipment is outdated.