In Serbia, mine permits can be obtained by anyone who wants to exploit

23.Sep 2020.

The Law on Mining is conceived in direct conflict with the Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment, as well as with the Aarhus Convention, which guarantees the right of citizens to be directly involved in deciding on the need and possibility to dig in a mine.

Someone in Serbia has recognized mining as the main potential for development, so an institutional and legal framework has practically been established that opens the “chase for ores”, essentially Eldorado, the coordinator of the Center for Sustainable Development and Ecology (CEKOR) Zvezdan Kalmar told FoNet. In the series of talks, Vidokrug pointed out that the Government of Serbia and the Assembly have decided in the past ten years to create such a legal framework in which every mining company that wants to dig anything will get permits in a way that local communities and the public will not they can influence it.

The environmental consequences are actually economic consequences, since poorly planned research and exploitation works lead to terrible consequences for water, because practically all large rivers in Serbia are endangered by mining, Kalmar warned. According to him, Serbia needs such an ecological framework in which we will be able to stop certain projects, if they are unacceptable.

“We now have such a situation in the municipalities of Krupanj and Loznica, where someone decided 15 or more years ago that we need to dig lithium at all costs. And now, under the pretext of fighting for renewable energy sources, we want to destroy the clean and beautiful valley of the Adriatic, “Kalmar pointed out.

We want to establish mines, poisonous landfills, flotation plants on several hundred square kilometers, “and we wash it all into the Jadar River,” he explained, noting that there is already a major environmental problem in that part of Serbia with the historical mines in Stolice and Zajaca. stated that in mining there is a principle that there is no closed mine, but only sealed, because it always has environmental consequences.

Kalmar also warns of the situation in Bor, where the Chinese partner, as he says, makes the decision to multiply the production of copper, which leads to terrible air pollution.

Also, as he emphasized, it creates additional problems for the citizens who live around the mine due to blasting, vibrations, a large number of trucks and a lot of dust. A similar problem is in the north of Serbia, said Kalmar, mentioning the exploration of oil deposits near the protected tourist zone in Palić.

According to him, without an impact assessment, and without any public participation, the Ministry of Mining and Energy issues research permits to the Russian partner, without any analysis, even without any acquaintance of the local community with the whole situation.

Kalmar also drew special attention to the situation around the coal mines in Kolubara and Kostolac, where citizens live as hostages of the “public interest” of digging and burning coal for the purpose of energy production. He mentioned, as a particularly serious problem, the case of about 200 families in Drmno near Kostolac, who live in very difficult circumstances near the mine.

There is another problem with the rivers, because we have a situation where the extraction of gravel and sand is no longer treated with environmental impact assessments, Kalmar concluded.