Chinese Zijin Copper suspected of river ecocide in eastern Serbia

NEWS 11.08.2021 14:37
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Dried riverbed, dead fish lying on bare stones - that is today's picture of the Zlotska river near the eastern town of Bor, where the Chinese Zijin Serbia Copper is situated, Snezana Nedeljkovic, the president of the Green Front, a part of the "1 in 5 million" opposition movement, said on Wednesday.

She added it tantamount to an eco-murder, adding „a justified suspicion that excessive pumping of water from the Zlotska River for the needs of the Chinese company Zidjin in Bor“ caused that.

Locals also suspect, Nedelkovic said, that the reason for the ‘ecocide’ included some foreign companies’ exploration wells built by drilling up to 600 meters in depth to examine potential new mines.

„The mayor of Bor says, ‘it’s because you are watering the gardens!’ It seems it is important for foreign investors to have enough water, while our people can stay like this poor dead fish – completely dry,“ Nedeljkovic added.

Zijin Serbia Copper has often been accused of neglecting the environment, but the company claims it takes all precautionary measures to protect it.

Last August, Serbia’s Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) reported that sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels were almost three times higher than permitted in Bor.

In October 2020, Zijin and one of its managers were ordered to pay a fine of 450,000 Dinars (1 Euro – 118 Dinars) for air pollution.