Local authorities in western Serbia paves way to Rio Tinto lithium mine

NEWS 29.07.2021 14:15
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Source: N1

The Assembly of the western town of Loznica adopted a spatial plan, the first official documents for the Rio Tinto’s Jadar projects, including the lithium mining the environmentalists described as “a catastrophe.”

The plan would enable Rio Tinto to obtain all necessary permits for the project.

Loznica’s Mayor Vidoje Petrovic said the state would take care of the environment and that “Rio Tito should not be used for political fighting, nor for collecting political points.”

He said a referendum on the issue was possible. It was announced by President Aleksandar Vucic and confirmed by Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Mihajlovic.

People from Loznica, the nearby town of Sabac and Belgrade, started a protest outside the municipality building earlier on Thursday and reacted angrily to the news that the plan was adopted.

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They threatened to prevent the councillors from leaving the building and said they did not want the referendum, adding the whole issue was full of corruption.

A cordon of police in riot gear secured the Loznica city assembly to allow the councilors to leave the building later in the afternoon.