A Chinese-owned mine in eastern Serbia has been shut down by inspectors because it was polluting the environment, Mining and Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlovic said on Tuesday.
She said the Jama mine, owned by the Chinese company Zijin, in the town of Majdanpek was ordered closed by inspectors and will not be able to resume operations without permission from her ministry and the Ministry of the Environment. “Speaking about protecting the Pek river, Zijin has to complete a new water purification facility by April 30,” the minister told K1 TV.
Her statement comes after last weekend’s protest by environmental activists in front of the Serbian Parliament. Mihajlovic said that she is glad to see activism in Serbia with people thinking about air and water quality. “We have to be true to ourselves and not be hypocrites because we throw trash everywhere and can’t say we haven’t noticed the dumps by the road and plastic bags by garbage containers. The duty of the state is draft laws and create conditions to protect the environment but it’s the job of us all to change ecological awareness,” she said.
She said that a new law on renewable power sources would ban the construction of hydro-power plants in protected areas. Small water-powered plants have become a contentious issue which has drawn protests from environmental activists.