Lithium deposits in Serbia will leave the country without resources and money

, News

The value of mineral reserves in Serbia is estimated at more than 200 billion euros, said Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic. If we are guided by the Spatial Plan of the Republic of Serbia and the billions counted by the Minister, we can dig through Serbia, earn money and move to Mars, because the clean and rescue investments so far have shown themselves in the right light.

Serbia has the lowest ore rent in Europe. According to previously published data, ore rent in Serbia ranges from three to seven percent of income, while in Croatia it is 10 percent, in Hungary and Romania 12 percent, in Slovenia 18 percent, and in Russia 22 percent of income. Mineral raw materials such as coal, oil or gas represent a natural wealth that is owned by the state, that is, us, its citizens. For the exploitation of these raw materials, the companies that extract them must pay a fee to the state of Serbia for the use of resources and reserves of mineral raw materials, which is actually an ore rent.

The amount of ore rent is prescribed by the Law on Fees for the Use of Public Goods. The strategy for the management of mineral resources in Serbia has not been adopted, although its adoption is prescribed by the law from 2011.

During last year’s visit in June 2020, to Loznica, to the “Jadarit” deposit, the President of Serbia said that “ore rent cannot be changed so easily”.

– You cannot easily change the ore rent, because you will not be able to make an agreement with the Russian NIS (Oil Industry of Serbia), or with the Chinese, who entered into large investments and who helped us a lot by taking ‘Bor’ and saved us – said Vučić then.

Could a change in the price of ore rent break contracts and drive away investors, even though they pay the lowest price of ore rent in Europe?

When asked what benefit Serbia has from the exploitation of lithium, professor of the Faculty of Mining and Geology Vladimir Simić explained for N1 television that lithium is not covered by the existing law.

– They will invest in it, they will pay the state a fee for the use of mineral raw materials which is obligatory by law… I don’t know about lithium, because it does not appear in the existing laws, it will probably be something similar to other non-metallic mineral raw materials – although it is never clear to me from which to get. It is not clear to me, and I have been dealing with mineral raw materials for 30 or so years – said Simić.