Rio Tinto’s lithium mine will lead to the irreversible destruction of Macva area in Serbia

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Marija Alimpic from the association Let’s Protect Jadar and Radjevina talks about the negative impact of lithium mine in Serbia:

“The situation on the ground is very tense when Rio Tinto or the mine is mentioned, and it is quite certain that both that company and the mine are undesirable in that field, and that will never change … Research has been going on since 2004, but during the research we did not We had no information. Only last year there was a public discussion on the special purpose spatial plan, and it was adopted only in February this year, and then we only realized what was being prepared for us. The spatial plan was adopted illegally, there is not enough information in it.”, estimates Alimpic.

“What is evident for the extraction of this lithium that is found here in Jadar requires a huge amount of chemical compounds, somewhere everything is based on assumptions, because the company will not go public with accurate data, it is assumed that about 300,000 will be used during the year tons of sulfuric acid, along with many other compounds. They will need a lot of water, we know that lithium is at a depth of 700 meters, the whole area of ​​the mine lies on groundwater, we all know well that we live there that Jadar is a river that floods every year, so it is physically impossible to report this project without causing damage, “she added.

“Simply this kind of lithium has not been found anywhere in the world yet, all the data available to the company come from the limited laboratory conditions in Australia. But we all know that agriculture will no longer be possible in an area that is agricultural,” she believes.

“Probably the whole of Macva will be irreversibly devastated, and some experiences from around the world tell us that the consequences can be felt in a diameter of 200 kilometers. Jadar, Radjevina, western Serbia will be endangered, but according to experiences much wider area,” Alimpic points out.

She reiterates that chemicals will be used and that the used water will be discharged into the river, and when asked how she knows, she states that Rio Tinto has not revealed its technology, “but has not denied that it will use chemicals. They have no other for now a way to extract that lithium from the ore. ” she adds that the Australian company claims that “the water will be cleaner than when it enters the mine, but they cannot convince anyone of that, having in mind their factories in the world”.

She also says that so far no one from the government has contacted them regarding their concerns, although they have addressed her, explaining that “when it comes to earnings, people do not understand, and many do not know what it is about – it is four percent ore rent, which is very low “.

“We don’t want that mine to be exploited, whether it’s Rio Tinto or some other company,” she said, adding that it is known that there will come a time when there will be less and less water, “and this mine will need a huge amount of water to function, this process needs to take place at a high temperature, and a large amount of electricity will be needed to come from fossil fuels again. And cars with lithium batteries are also charged to electricity, which usually comes from fossil fuels. So “Lithium is not the solution, only one percent of lithium batteries are recycled,” she said. She adds that lithium is also used for hydrogen bombs, as well as that in Japan there is a lot of work on sodium-ion batteries, which currently last longer (seven days longer), are much less harmful to the environment and are much cheaper. She also points out that there is no vegetation around the wells where Rio Tinto tested, and that the inhabitants of western Serbia, where the Australian company wants to open a jadarite mine, have their agricultural land renamed construction “without their knowledge and demands, which means that their fees will be higher.”, and those living off agriculture will not be able to apply for any subsidies.”