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Will a Lithium Mine be opened in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

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In recent days, the public heard the news that a lithium deposit had been discovered on Mount Majevica. Research was conducted by the Swiss company “Arcore AG” and, as announced by this company, in addition to lithium, significant amounts of magnesium, potassium and boron were found.

All this caused conflicting reactions, but also questions from the public. Will a lithium mine be opened in Lopara?

The Swiss company “Arcore AG” found on the slopes of Majevica deposits of significant quantities of mineral raw materials, among which is lithium. Although the company did not want to be in front of the cameras, in the previously issued statement it was pointed out that these investigations had been going on since 2018, BHRT reported.

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“We received a license to explore mineral deposits in 2018, and in the period from 2020 to 2022, three intensive phases of research followed. The mineralogical content of the deposit, which has been researched for the last four and a half years, contains significant amounts of lithium carbonate, magnesium, potassium and boron,” they said.

The mere mention of lithium has alarmed environmentalists because of information that its extraction and mining can have significant environmental consequences.

“The method of lithium mining contains the use of dangerous acids, such as sulfuric acid, which is used at 98 percent strength. Who can guarantee us that this sulfuric acid will not penetrate and pollute the groundwater or who knows what chemical reaction it will cause,” says Snežana Jagodić Vujić, ecologist.

The Municipality of Lopare points out that the research conducted by “Arcore” is the third in the last twenty years and that the research alone does not mean that the mine will be opened. In addition, as they state, the official results of that research have not yet been presented to the public.

“Explorations are neither harmful, nor do they mean the opening of the mine, and from the end of the exploration to the eventual opening of the mine, several years pass for sure, so there is enough time and space to clarify every ambiguity to the end. We have to be very careful, but if it does not have any harmful consequences, then it should be used as a resource,” said Rado Savić, the head of the Municipality of Lopare.

The Minister of Energy and Mining of the Republika Srpska, Petar Đokić, also commented.

“So we will see further how it will unfold. It is far from the fact that there will be exploitation and the development of production. Research projects are very different from exploitation itself, and this should be explained to the citizens as well,” said Đokić.

The Municipality of Lopare says that the priority is to protect the environment.

Magnesium, potassium, lithium and boron found in the hills of Majvica are also called the raw materials of the future. They are used for the production of batteries for electric cars, energy storage, and are widely used in the medical, pharmaceutical industry and other fields, Biznis Info reports.

 

Source: Sarajevo Times

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