Representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection held a presentation of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study for the opening of the Čukaru Peki mine in Bor. The presentation was followed by a public consultation, local media reported.
The copper and gold mine with underground exploitation near Bor is set to be opened by Rakita Exploration, owned by Chinese company Zijin Mining Group, which is also the owner of Copper miner Rudarsko-Topioničarski Basen (RTB). It is estimated that 1,205 workers will be needed for the mine operation.
A large number of comments were made by the citizens, experts, representatives of Bor’s environmental organizations
Over the past twenty days during the public review and the public consultation on the EIA study, a large number of comments were made by the citizens, experts, and representatives of eight environmental non-governmental organizations in Bor. The NGO consortium’s objection is that the study was not done in accordance with laws and by-laws.
According to the local media reports, all comments will be considered by the ministry in the coming days.
Mihajlović: Irreversible damage has been avoided
Initially, the presentation and public consultation were planned to take place in the Bor City Hall building, but due to the great interest by the residents of the villages Brestovac, Metovnica and Slatina, the territory where the mining activities will be carried out, and Bor’s environmental organizations, authorities decided to move the event to the music school, according to Bor030.net portal.
In an op-ed for Nova ekonomija portal, Branislav Mihajlović, one of the participants, a mining engineer and member of Serbia’s parliament, greeted the Chinese company’s decision to change the method of ore excavation in order to preserve the terrain above the mine.
Changing the method of excavation is of crucial strategic importance
It is a crucial strategic decision, both for the future development of the mine and for the local and wider community, he wrote.
Mihajlović said large-scale degradation of the terrain above the mine and irreparable damage to the mine environment have been avoided.
In his view, the project has been transformed so that damages that can be reduced and significantly remediated.
NGOs: Study does not comply with regulations
NGOs said the EIA study is unacceptable as it was produced via emergency procedures, without the opinion of the competent authorities on the location and consent from the Ministry of Mining and Energy, all mandatory under the decree on mining waste management, Mc.kcbor.net portal reported.
Environmental organizations are demanding for the study to be changed
The mandatory content of the EIA study foreseen by law and by-laws has not been met, and it should be amended and sent again to public consultation, according to their representatives.
The spatial plan for the mine was adopted in early January, and the study did not take into account the location permit since it was finished in December, said Toplica Marjanović from the consortium. Secondly, he stressed, the study doesn’t comply with the decree on mining waste management, which came into force at the beginning of the year.