Several dozen citizens gathered in front of the Government of Serbia on an invitation by the Association of Environmental Organizations of Serbia (SEOS), marking the anniversary of the first blockade of lithium mining operations. SEOS claims that the company Rio Tinto is still buying properties in Jadar and that this project has not been stopped.
One of the activists, Marijana Petkovic, said that the Rio Tinto project is still ongoing since Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced that another 178 exploration permits were issued.
She argued that, if the government is saying the project came to an end, it should explain why Rio Tinto is “buying fields on the road route.”
“Why is the exploitation field active? Why did Rio Sava once again start bribing those whose plots were drilled not to remove the pipes”, she said, stressing that citizens do not want the lithium mining operations.
“Rio Tinto is controlling this country”, she argued.
SEOS president, Ljiljana Bralovic, criticised the citizens of Belgrade for not joining the Sunday protest in greeted numbers.
Zlatko Kokanovic, a resident of Gornji Nedeljice, said that experts take into account how such operations affect “rivers, plants and animals” but nobody is mentioning what will happen with the people in Jadar, whose relocation is necessary in order to build a lithium mine there.