Australian Rio Tinto would increase Serbia’s GDP by less than one percent

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Marko Vujic from the Center for Environmental Policy of the Faculty of Political Sciences stated today that the investment of Rio Tinto would increase the number of jobs in Serbia by 0.1 percent, while the profit for the budget would amount to less than one percent of the annual GDP.
Vujic said that the range of negative externalities of this endeavor is not yet observable, considering that we do not have an official study on environmental impact assessment.
“Serbia has been in a paradoxical situation for years, because of a little embers, mostly personal, to leave our own rivers, forests, fields, and now entire parts of Serbia,” said Vujic.
From credible colleagues from natural and technical sciences, Vujic added, we learn that Rio Tinto would use large amounts of sulfuric acid at temperatures of 300 degrees in the process of exploitation of jadarite, which can be reduced only by using the toxic gas silicon fluoride.
“The emission of that toxic gas into the already devastated air in Serbia could not be prevented. Also, in this unofficial phase, it is estimated that the mine will generate 1,500 cubic meters of wastewater per day, in a country where we poured into rivers only in 2018 109 tons of zinc, 17 tons of copper, 13 tons of arsenic, 12 tons of lead, 11 tons of nickel,” Vujic emphasized.
When asked by Beta, what is the reputation of Rio Tinto in the context of environmental protection, Vujic said that it is very low.
“From Australia to South America, there are frequent complaints and lawsuits about the non-environmental business of this company, and the incident of the devastation of the world cultural heritage of Aboriginal people in Australia has traveled the world,” he said.
Asked which option should prevail when considering the positive and negative sides of the exploitation of jadarite, Vujic said that if viewed objectively, it is clear which option will prevail and show the futility of this calculation.
“The government is certainly aware that citizens do not have to be environmentalists to come to these conclusions on their own, and thus increase the stakes on a bowl of potential benefits. Announcing in the form of pigeons on the branch and the lithium battery factory in Serbia, even at this time completely unreal ideas about an electric car factory whose lanes in Serbia will bring down 500,000 four-wheelers a year,” Vujic said.
According to Vujic, the unrealistic promises of the authorities are also evidenced by the fact that higher production of electric cars is announced in Serbia than the entire Tesla company produces annually or three times more than the entire German car industry.
Such optimistic economic investments, which the “malicious” will say are megalomaniacal and unfeasible, are certainly part of political marketing in the service of gaining a wider public opinion, especially of the local population,” Vujic said.
Asked whether we had condemned Rio Tinto’s investment in advance, before the environmental impact assessment study, Vujic said that the conditions under which such an endeavor could be negotiated would be respect for environmental standards “just as Germany should respect them, France or native England”.
“Then, for the authorities to contract and realize the investments of the mentioned battery factories, but also electric cars, because they promise the same, and they don’t make a living from it. And before each negotiation, raise the ore rent, which is devastatingly the lowest in Europe of miserable four percent, and bring it at least to the level of Croatia, where it is 10 percent, or Slovenia, where you can earn income on the basis of ores with a compensation of 18 percent of the ore rent to the state,” said Vujic.
According to him, if we do not respect our own wealth, our own air, our rivers, and above all our health, surely others will not do the same, Novi Magazin reports.