Australian Rio Tinto can harm Belgrade’s environment by digging mines in Serbia

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Rio Tinto is planning its works and excavations in the Jadar Valley, near Loznica. However, the pollution caused by that will not remain only in that territory. Experts claim that Belgrade will also be endangered. Pollution will reach the capital and will arrive even when the works themselves stop, chemist Dragana Djordjevic and geologist Branislav Bozovic claim.
“Tailings will be washed away by rains, watercourses will reach Belgrade as well. Sulfuric acid and arsenic can endanger the water supply of the capital, and all that because of the low ore rent,” claims Dragana Djordjevic from the Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy.
She warns that all ores that are extracted contain useful, but also very harmful elements such as arsenic, mercury or lead.
“Jadarite ore, together with lithium, has arsenic in increased concentrations. Jadarite will be treated with chemicals when it is taken to the surface, and after that the structure of jadarite from which lithium should be extracted will decompose, but all toxins found in the ore will be released. The toxins will end up in the tailings. It will rain and everything will be washed away from the tailings into the watercourses and the fertile land,” notes Djordjevic.
“It goes to the Drina, from the Drina to the Sava, from the Sava to Belgrade. It’s not far. And we in Belgrade already have a tense water supply,” he describes the chain of pollution.
Geologist Branislav Bozovic sees a similar scenario.
“Agricultural properties are being attacked, the people who live there, plus the whole area is being endangered. A vine that has just escaped cellulose pollution. In this case, all outflows descend from the Jadar to the Drina from the Drina to the Sava from the Sava to the Macva water source, which is the source for the whole part of Serbia, including Sabac and Belgrade and Valjevo. In the end, the pollution arrives in Belgrade and pollutes our sources as well,” he explains, Nova reports.