Environment

Court confirms suspension of lithium research in Valjevo region

Court confirms suspension of lithium research in Valjevo region

Photo: Aktron / Wikimedia

Published

December 31, 2021

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Published:

December 31, 2021

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The High Court in Valjevo confirmed the decision of the Valjevo Basic Court to impose a temporary suspension of Euro Lithium Balkan’s application for geological research. The measure will be in force until the end of the proceedings initiated at the Ministry of Mining and Energy of Serbia.

The temporary measure of suspension will last until the validity of the procedure by which the residents of several Valjevo villages demanded from the Ministry of Mining and Energy to recognize their capacity as a party with a contrary interest from the company Euro Lithium Balkans. Further, to reject the request of Euro Lithium Balkan for the extension of the approval for the applied geological research of boron and lithium in the research area of the Valjevo-Mionica basin – it is stated in the announcement of the Civil association Za zdravije sutra, from Veliki Crljeni.

The way to fight by legal means

The decision on the temporary suspension refers to one of the three areas in which the company Euro Lithium Balkan operates, ie research in the Valjevo-Mionica basin, says Sreten Đorđević, the legal representative of the March from Kolubara initiative, in a statement for N1 television.

“It is a good decision – it instills hope and could serve other citizens who have problems in their territories. It is good to be a guiding idea for lawyers as well,” Đorđević explained.

Locals will come out with demands for other two areas

For the remaining two areas, Valjevo North and the surroundings of Ljig and Mionica, where lithium research is being carried out – the locals will soon come out with demands to revoke the approvals for applied geological research.

Locals from the village in the Kolubara valley pointed to leaks from exploration wells and demanded the suspension of further lithium exploration. They claim that company thereby endangers agricultural land and wells and violates legal regulations.

Water analysis confirmed boron contamination

Water leaked around the wells for exploration of lithium reserves. Nearby water wells showed high concentrations of boron, sodium, and iron. Pollution was determined by water samples taken in the area – from well 22, in the village of Lukavac, and number 4, in the hamlet of Šušeoka.

The company did not accept responsibility, but locals had the evidence

The analysis showed that in the pond around well 22, the level of boron measured was 108 times higher than the maximum proposed by the laws of Serbia. In the case of the well registered under number 4, the recorded amount of boron was 56 times more than allowed.

The Institute for Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy of the University of Belgrade did the water analysis. The company Euro Lithium Balkan did not accept responsibility for the contamination. The firm is a subsidiary of Canada-based Euro Lithium and Borates.

Mixing water from the depths with surface waters can be dangerous for the supply of Valjevo itself, lawyer Đorđević warned. Residents of the villages in the Kolubara valley will continue to fight for the ban on further research, the statement adds.

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