Serbian municipalities Trstenik, Vrnjacka Banja and Topola against nickel exploitation

1. March 2013. / Mining

The mayors of Trstenik, Vrnjacka Banja and Topola municipalities have declared about being against nickel exploitation in their municipalities.

They also criticize why this question is being considered on national, not municipal plan.
Nickel exploitation will be discussed on national plan from now on- it was stated in the law draft. Local communities stand still against the investor and state, no force approach will manage such opposition.

This innovation was introduced because municipalities asked for it- it is added in the ministry.

“Crucial criticism on the draft is that state gives authorization to the private company which invest millions in the research so it is reasonable to launch exploitation afterwards”, Aleksic said for Beta Agency.

The Mayor of Trstenik denied that municipalities asked for law changes.
“It is not true that some municipalities asked for new law, like we are not capable of such work. The draft hadn’t been even proposed to municipalities before ministry published it”, Aleksic stated.

He added that this law takes authorization away from local governments and that it isn’t in the spirit of decentralization.
Aleksic reminded that Serbia did geological research on Trstenik area in the fifties and it is known that there is big nickel site.
“According to my knowledge, authorizations for “Srbija nikl” have expired on 31 December 2012, except if they were prolonged later, they don’t have rights to this kind of research”, Aleksic concluded.

Representative of the Company “Srbija nikl”, Dragoslav Bozovic, had stated earlier that this company has permissions for research on Vrnjacka Banja and Topola territories and that it has submitted request for two more locations on Mokra Gora.
Bozovic said then that power to decide is being taken away from municipalities with proposed solutions of the new law and that the law will disable canceling the work without expert documentation and knowledge.

Vrnjacka Banja-ecological environment

Mayor of Vrnjacka Banja, Slobodan Djurovic, stated to Beta Agency that municipality will continue to confront geological and mining research and eventual exploitation of minerals harmful for environment.

“We are still against research activities on Vrnjacka Banja territory, considering that current government disabled the decision of previous government that approved us the research work on our territory”, Djurovic said.

According to his words, this attitude is harmonized with the fact that Vrnjacka Banja is the ecological environment of the first category, natural sanatorium and resort recognizable for its natural curable factor consisted of seven factors per 1 square kilometer.
The Mayor of Topola municipality, Dragan Jovanovic, said for Beta Agency that the draft of the new law is “the wild way to launch nickel exploitation despite that consequences on health would be horrible and no one would ask municipalities or citizens that live there about it”.

“Municipalities won’t be able to give opinion about environmental influence what completely endangers food production and water courses from Oplenac to Rudnik, not to mention how big the damage to tourism will be”, Jovanovic said.

He believes that it is unacceptable that this proposal went through certain commissions successfully, but he also expects Serbian Government to be reasonable and not to let endangering the life and health of people who live next to nickel site.

“In Topola’s example, exploitation will be able to be done about 20 years. Is it worth of ruining the future of one region and the richest part of Serbia in this period of time, next to Arandjelovac source and Sumadija’s vineyards and fields”, Jovanovic said.

Source Serbia Energy/Agencies

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