Besides being areas of exceptional features, Avala and Kosmaj could become sites for mineral ore deposits. This has attracted public attention after documents were released as part of the early public consultation on the Spatial Plan for Areas of Special Purpose for Avala and Kosmaj. In the text of the Spatial Plan itself, there is no mention of the possibility of ore exploration and exploitation on Avala and Kosmaj. However, the picture is somewhat different when looking at the graphical section.
Sanja Solarević from the Association of Citizens “Our Local Community” told Euronews Serbia that the ore exploration is evident from the graphical part of the plan, which is an integral part of the plan along with the textual content.
The map of areas with exceptional features is marked with lines, and in the legend itself, fields for the exploitation and exploration of mineral resources are unequivocally indicated.
“We can see that it is planned to explore ores in the territory of the municipalities of Barajevo, Voždovac, and Sopot, and that the exploitation field in the area of Šuplja Stena is marked,” says Solarević.
As a counterargument, some experts argue that it is an old map. However, according to the graphical representation and the plan developed by the Institute for Architecture and Urbanism of Serbia, it is stated that it was created in December 2023.
Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović Handanović stated that the plan will be revised.
“The plan is being amended, mining is actually taken out of context in that sense. Every spatial plan includes a section related to mineral resources, and what remains to be seen is how it will look, and certainly everything that is done will be in accordance with public insight,” said Đedović Handanović.
This is not the first time that stories about potential mines on Avala and Kosmaj have attracted public attention.
Former Minister of Mining and Energy, Zorana Mihajlović, stated in early 2022 that it is impossible to build a mine in that location because “urbanistic conditions cannot be met,” after the public learned that the Chinese company Zijin had the right to explore minerals.
In the meantime, Zijin has abandoned geological exploration in this area.