Rio Tinto “respects” the decision of the Government of Serbia to cancel the Jadar project

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“Rio Tinto” respects the decision of the Government of Serbia to annul the decree on the realization of the “Jadar” project, it is stated in the written answer of this company for the Voice of America on February 21.

Rio Tinto stated that it will “responsibly maintain the land and facilities owned by the company and manage them in the best interest of the community and the environment.”

“We are also committed to fulfilling our contractual obligations to our suppliers, contractors and the local community. Our obligation is to keep all assets owned by the company safe, as well as to continue to ensure the safety of our teams and associates,” the statement said.

Rio Tinto did not specifically answer the question whether it is true that they continue to buy land and houses, as well as whether the company considered certain legal steps against Serbia due to the Government’s decision to suspend the construction of the lithium mine, according to Voice of America.

On January 20, the Serbian government announced that it was terminating cooperation with the international mining company Rio Tinto, whose subsidiary is the holder of the lithium exploitation project “Jadar” near Loznica in western Serbia.

After that address by Prime Minister Brnabić, Rio Tinto said that they were extremely worried about that statement and that the company was considering the legal basis for making this decision and the implications it could have.

Rio Tinto has previously promised to operate in accordance with laws and environmental standards.

Environmental activists blocked two roads in New Belgrade on February 15th, demanding that the law permanently ban the extraction of pine and lithium throughout Serbia.

Activists and citizens from the vicinity of Loznica, in the west of Serbia, camped for several days in front of the Presidency of Serbia in February with the same request.

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, previously stated that due to the short deadline, it is not possible to adopt a law that would ban the exploration and exploitation and processing of lithium and boron in Serbia.

Rio Tinto has been in Serbia since 2001. Exploring the area of western Serbia, in 2004 he discovered a new ore “jadarite” – a combination of lithium and boron.

Lithium is used for batteries in mobile phones, computers and electric cars, Slobodna Evropa reports.