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Ekološki ustanak movement: Rio Tinto’s study is cheap propaganda and softening citizen stance

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Ekološki ustanak movement described the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study for the “Jadar” Project by Rio Tinto as “cheap propaganda” and an attempt to “soften the firm stance of citizens.” The study was self-initiated by Rio Tinto despite the project being halted and the regulation establishing the spatial plan for the exploitation and processing of jadarite being abolished.

“What Rio Tinto is doing now, publishing the draft study, even though there is no official document permitting excavation because the project is ‘terminated,’ is called ‘softening’ the firm stance of citizens on this project,” stated Ekološki ustanak, urging citizens not to fall for the cheap propaganda.

Ekološki ustanak questioned why Rio Tinto is now concerned with informing citizens and promoting public dialogue, whereas it did not attempt this during the protests against lithium mining around Loznica.

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“Why did it take two years to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment? Weren’t they claiming during the protests that everything would be done according to the highest environmental protection standards, talking about green mining, and the profitability of lithium mining for the citizens of the Republic of Serbia?” the statement reads.

They also pointed out that the current Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Đedović Handanović, worked for years for the European Investment Bank before her appointment. This bank, they claim, is a financier of Rio Tinto’s projects worldwide, and they believe she is tasked with implementing the idea of lithium mining in Serbia under pressure from European officials.

Ekološki ustanak also reminded that two years ago, on January 24, 2022, the then Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, stated that “the international mining company Rio Tinto no longer has any rights to explore lithium and boron in western Serbia” and that “no other company has requested such rights.”

They also recalled that in November last year, Ekološki ustanak published a document sent by the Republic of Serbia to the “Rendon Group,” which outlined a new lobbying strategy for implementing the “Jadar” Project.

“The owner of this company, John Rendon, has decades of international experience in leading strategic turnarounds and rehabilitating political relations and relationships between energy-extracting companies and civil society,” the statement concludes.

Source : Danas

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