Two Serbian environmental organizations warned that the Rio Tinto company was going ahead with its plans to open a lithium mine in western Serbia despite pledges by the government that it had been stopped.
The Mars sa Drina (Get Away from the Drina) and Alliance of Ecological Organizations of Serbia (SEOS) sent Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and open letter asking her to confirm if Rio Tinto is going ahead with its Jadar project which a government decree is supposed to have ended in January had been halted following mass protests and a petition signed by just under 300,000 people.
The letter recalled that the January 20 decree revoked the spatial plan which included the mine and the Environment Ministry document defining the environmental study for the project which means that “all the permits for the project were also revoked”.
The two organizations said they were informed officially on Wednesday that “the Rio Tinto activities are still underway”. “Under a request for public information, the Mining and Energy Ministry provided official information that the Sava Exploration company (Rio Tinto’s local subsidiary) filed a request for a permit to exploit Field No 3 on January 6 and that the process was still underway,” the letter said adding that Field No 3 covers the entire area planned for the mine.
The letter added that Rio Tinto has invited applications this week for four new positions.