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Study for a Nonexistent Project

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The study was conducted for the nonexistent Jadar project, which the Government of Serbia canceled in 2022. Therefore, these are internal documents of Rio Tinto, based on which it is neither possible nor necessary to provide expert comments.

President Aleksandar Vučić is preparing to give the “green light” to Rio Tinto to open the largest lithium mine in Europe in Serbia, writes the Financial Times, while the President of the Assembly, Ana Brnabić, announces a debate in parliament about the environmental impact study of the Jadar project, which Rio Tinto published last week, stating in the announcement that the research results “show that the Jadar project can be implemented safely, respecting the highest domestic and international environmental protection standards.”

Academician Bogdan Šolaja told Radar that on June 13, Rio Save Director Marijanti Babić informed SANU that Rio Tinto’s subsidiary had published working drafts of separate environmental impact studies for the Jadar project on its own initiative. According to him, these are internal Rio Tinto documents, based on which it is neither possible nor necessary to provide expert comments for several reasons.

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“First, this study was conducted for the nonexistent Jadar project, which the Government of Serbia canceled in 2022. Second, I would expect that an environmental impact study is conducted after the adoption of a special purpose spatial plan for a specific project, in accordance with the law. In the case of the Jadar project, that plan was canceled, so the question is why these studies are being discussed at all now,” Šolaja points out.

Noting that he is aware that Rio Tinto continues its activities in Serbia despite the government’s decision to cancel the project, he says that it could be concluded that the documents dealing with the Jadar mine are “the result of the continuous work of collaborators engaged by Rio Tinto and as such follow the views expressed by some participants at the conference ‘The Jadar Project – What is Known?’ held at SANU in 2021.”

“In the latest documents, it is noted that they represent a working version, that they are preliminary in nature, and that they are not final, with no guarantees, explicit or implicit, given regarding their content. A brief review indicates deficiencies in these documents and several illogical and legally prohibited solutions. Since they are preliminary in nature and not final, so their changes are not excluded, I do not consider it necessary to analyze them as such. Moreover, the second edition of the conference proceedings ‘The Jadar Project – What is Known?’ has just been published, which mentions the deficiencies and some bad solutions of that project,” says Šolaja.

Source: Radar

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