Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović claims the lithium mine in Jadar near the Serbian city of Loznica would be completely digitalized and without sulfuric acid fumes or liquid waste. President Aleksandar Vučić earlier said the next government would decide “whether the decision to ban lithium mining is final.”
Top government officials relaunched the campaign for lithium ore mining and processing in Serbia, particularly in favor of the Jadar project, which the cabinet of Prime Minister Ana Brnabić halted in January after mass protests. “Rio Tinto absolutely didn’t provide enough information to the people in Jadar, Rađevina, in local places and local villages. It also didn’t provide enough information to the Government of the Republic of Serbia,” she stated at the time.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović said a mine, a battery plant and an electric car plant would boost Serbia’s gross domestic product by more than 25%. She didn’t mention Rio Tinto by name or its formally inactive Jadar project, but it is the only endeavor in the country that reached the phase of planning for a mine and processing plant. The latter is necessary to produce the material for batteries.
Mihajlović: Lithium could have been a great development opportunity
“Lithium is a critical mineral commodity on a global level. It is 21st-century oil and it is expected that by 2050 the demand for lithium will jump 900%, and it could have been a great development opportunity for Serbia, as we have a unique mineral deposit with 158 million tons of proven reserves,” Mihajlović asserted. She claims that individuals are using lithium for political purposes and that they are spreading panic for their political gain.
There won’t be any frying of jadarite at one thousand degrees, Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović said
“It would be an underground mine, completely digitalized, with the newest technologies and highly sophisticated equipment, with high-paying jobs. There would be no sulfuric acid fumes, no frying of jadarite at one thousand degrees, no liquid waste, nothing that they scared citizens with for months”, the vice premier added.
We are only nation that gave up its oil
President Aleksandar Vučić said earlier that his biggest mistake was that the Jadar project was halted.
“We made a big mistake. We are the only people that gave up its oil, the only one that foreign services forced with lies through the media to give up wealth. It is a classic example of how foreign services managed something that could have been a quantum leap for Serbia. They fought amongst themselves about whether it would be Rio Tinto or some other company. That’s because our lithium is of the highest quality,” he underscored.
Vučić said the next government is the one that should be asked “whether the decision to ban lithium mining is final.” The general and presidential elections in Serbia were held on April 3. Vučić and his party won, but the new cabinet isn’t yet formed.
There are also numerous other lithium exploration projects in the country. The activities of the companies that are running them prompted protests across the country as locals are complaining of the destruction of nature and accusing them of polluting water.
Lithium mining is not banned in Serbia – environmental groups Kreni-promeni and SEOS said they would file a complaint with the Constitutional Court as parliament still hasn’t verified the signatures from the people’s initiative to ban lithium and boron mining and exploration
The Kreni-promeni activist initiative and the Association of Environmental Organizations of Serbia (SEOS) are preparing to send as complaint to the Constitutional Court because parliament still hasn’t verified the 38,000 signatures that they collected for their so-called people’s initiative to ban lithium and boron mining and exploration.
“Loznica could have flourished entirely. The whole of Mačva. They could have had a EUR 200 million budget, and be able to throw money away. And to have 150,000 people instead of the actual 80,000,” Vučić said.