Rio Tinto must wait for environmental study, referendum before mining in Serbia

NEWS 27.10.2021 14:00
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Source: N1

Serbia's Mining and Energy Minister, Zorana Mihajlovic, said on Wednesday the state would decide on Rio Tinto's lithium mine after an environmental study and referendum on the issue.

‘Jadar’ project, by the Rio Tinto company in the vicinity of Loznica in western Serbia, caused serious protests by the environmentalists who said lithium was extremely dangerous for health.

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The authorities reacted by accusing the activists of using the potential mine for political purposes.

„First, let’s see who is talking about it and who is explaining to the citizens of Serbia that the mine will be opened, even though there is no contract, even though there is no decision. The Government has made it clear there is no decision on whether to extract jadarite and open a mine until environmental impact studies are completed, and a referendum is held. Those who are talking about it today are false environmentalists, politicians who want power,“ Mihajlovic said.

Source : Ministarstvo rudarstva i energetike

She added Serbia had rich minerals reserves „crucial for the future of everything“ and that all information about jadarite would be publicly available.

„Serbia is rich in lithium, antimony, copper, gold; these are critical minerals for the future of the whole world. If we can exploit it healthily and follow the highest European and world standards, and if the citizens agree, we will do it,“ Mihajlovic said.

In the meantime, ‘Ne damo Jadar’ (We Don’t Give Jadar) association said that from November 1, it would start collecting Loznica residents’ signatures for holding the local assembly urgent session to annul the special Spatial Plan enabling the Rio Tinto Jadarite mine.

She added that „if that is not possible if the study shows that it will lead to problems in the environment, then we will not work.“

 

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