Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić denied that the adoption of the spatial plan for a special purpose area for the jadarite mining and mineral processing project was groundless and said it was done after a public insight and an environmental impact assessment study.
Despite the protests of citizens and the local population, as well as the criticism of experts saying the Rio Tinto jadarite mine would bring more harm than good to Serbia, the Government of Serbia has reiterated there is nothing disputable in this project.
The local population is asking state institutions to answer specific questions regarding the mine
The position of Prime Minister Ana Brnabić on the mining giant Rio Tinto’s investment was already known. The spatial plan was adopted back in February. However, her statement comes amid growing discontent among citizens, especially the residents of the Loznica area where the mine should be opened.
The spatial plan was one of the main reasons for their protest held about two months ago. They asked state authorities about the proportions of the damage that jadarite mining could cause and what technologies would be applied, as well as whether they would have to leave their homes and why their agricultural land has been reclassified as construction land.
Ana Brnabić: The project is very important for Serbia and will be implemented according to the highest standards
Prime Minister Ana Brnabić asserted the locals would get all the information about the project. She said the jadarite mine project is very important for Serbia and that it would be done according to the highest standards.
The local population will be able to get information about that project at any time, she claimed and invited people from the sector to talk about it, the Serbian government said.
Marija Alimpić (Protect Jadar and Rađevina): The spatial plan is illegitimate
Marija Alimpić from the Protect Jadar and Rađevina association says the main issue is that the government adopted the spatial plan.
She told Balkan Green Energy News the Rio Tinto project has not been fully defined and that the company’s representatives confirmed it to the group at meetings. They have revealed the preliminary design of the project has not been completed, so if it is true, the question is on what ground the company requested the adoption of the spatial plan, Alimpić said.
The spatial plan for the mine cannot be adopted because the preliminary design is not complete
She said the government adopted the spatial plan on insufficient grounds and without proper consultation with the local population, adding it violates the constitutional and legal rights of the citizens of Serbia. And that it makes the document illegitimate.
Public insight into the spatial plan was organized during New Year’s holidays, and most of the local population wasn’t informed
The prime minister says there was public insight, but more than 90% of the local population, which will be most affected, did not even know about it, Alimpić said.
In addition, the discussion on the spatial plan was held around the New Year’s holidays, not an appropriate time, according to Alimpić.
She said the new director of Rio Sava Exploration, Vesna Prodanović, stated a few days ago that the lifespan of the mine would be 50 years, while the spatial plan states 30 years.
It demonstrates that all the details of the project have not been fully defined, so the spatial plan does not make any sense, Alimpić added.