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Swiss Fusions Tara Resources zinc lead mine development in Montenegro, local community opposition and environment concerns

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The intention of the Swiss company Tara Resources to open the Brskovo mine near Mojkovac, a town one hundred kilometers north of Podgorica, was negatively reacted to by ecologists and citizens of the area.

The announcement of the opening of the lead and zinc mine was met “with a knife”, primarily because of the investor’s intention to deposit the mine’s waste materials in a new tailings dump.

Namely, the former tailings pond that remained in Mojkovac as a result of the old Brskovo lead and zinc mine was rehabilitated twenty years after it ceased operations. The renovation cost 10 million euros.

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The planned two tailings pits of the new mine are almost five times larger in area than the previous one, which was an ecological black spot in Montenegro for decades, Azra Vuković from the non-governmental organization Green Home told Radio Free Europe (RSE).

And while the investor is talking about the millions that mining could bring, the locals are afraid of new environmental pollution. “Citizens of Mojkovec are sending a clear message that they will not be an ecological black spot in the 21st century,” says Ljiljana Jokić from Mojkovic.

“We do not see a single positive effect of this project, but only devastation, pollution and contamination of the environment. And stopping the development of Mojkovac in the direction of a tourist town,” Gordana Đukanović from the citizens’ initiative Zdravi Mojkovac, which, he says, is organized with with the intention of “opening the eyes” of the institutions that decide on the opening of mines.

The local administration is not making a statement for now, since the whole business is under the jurisdiction of the Government. And the Government claims that the opening of the mine is good news for Mojkovac and the north of Montenegro, because it will be one of the largest zinc mines in Europe, which will employ around 550 local residents.

In February, Prime Minister Dritan Abazović visited the mine and spoke with the director of Tara Resources, Richard Boffi, after which it was announced that 25 million euros had already been invested in the project, and that the entire investment was estimated at 150 million.

The Brskovo mine is located between two national parks – Biogradska gora and Durmitorta – on the Tara River, which is on the UNESCO list. According to the Constitution, Montenegro is an ecological state.

 

Source: Montenegro Business

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