Serbia mining industry and nickel exploration disputes: Why does resistance to geological research occur, what about stakeholder relations?

18. March 2013. / Mining

If exploitation is determined to pollute environment, approval for expropriation won’t be issued.

Economically most significant nickel deposits in Serbia are in the region of Sumadija, Kopaonik area, on Mokra Gora, etc. These deposits were geologically researched in the period 1959-1998, when it was estimated that total mineral resources of nickel in Serbia amount about 330 million tons. 130 million tons of this mineral was geologically researched and about 6 estimated resources were classified in the class of balance reservoirs that can be exploited. A half of this amount is found on Kosovo. It is necessary to continue research in order to transfer nickel resources in Serbia into mineral reservoirs.

Geological research of nickel deposits don’t influence environment negatively. They include use of several methods and procedures that are used in research of other mineral materials. These methods and procedures have been used without negative consequences in Serbia for decades.  These are geological, geophysical and geochemical methods and laboratory, technologic and other research. Local field distortion can happen during research drilling and mining work but spatial repair is fast and easy.

Geological research of nickel from scientific angle should be continued. This research enables mineral nickel potential to be completely researched and estimated in known and new areas, to determine amount, quality and technological types of minerals and to determine if their processing is technically possible, economically profitable and ecologically acceptable.

Resistance of public to nickel research in Serbia is not based on real facts. It is often unreasonably related to potentially harmful influence of mineral processing on environment what is not a part of geological research.

Results of geological research are being shown in the elaborate of mineral resources and reservoirs that is being analyzed and estimated by commission of competent ministry. If estimation of the elaborate is positive, determined and classified mineral resources will become a part of mineral resources balance and Serbian reservoirs, while carrier of research gets confirmation for resources and reservoirs which is only one in the row of required documents for expropriation permission issuance.

A study of environmental influence of expropriation should be done before expropriation and after making the elaboration. If exploitation is determined to pollute environment in any way, approval for expropriation won’t be issued. All interested people, representatives of ecological institutions, health services, local administrations, scientific and other institutions can involve in discussion. We should have in mind that exploitation of minerals in national park zones and areas protected by state is not allowed because of their large natural significance.

Exploitation and mineral processing cannot endanger flora and fauna if they are done in accordance with rules and using the best technology in the world. Methods of exploitations and mineral processing methods are not same as methods that were used in the past. Mining is a continuously developing. New methods and procedures of mineral processing are being found and ecologically harsher standards for mining waste directing are being introduced. They exist in our country i.e. they represent part of several law acts whose respect is obligated. On the other side, respecting the best technologies and practice, EU countries have adopted several directives which determine mining waste area what contributes to environmental protection and elimination of harmful consequences of exploitation and mineral processing. Mentioned directives should be adopted in Serbia also.

Source Serbia Energy

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