9 May 2022 Joint statement with Extinction Rebellion Serbia: Rio Tinto, It’s Game over!

Rio Tinto undermines the Serbian people’s choice and discredits

the Serbian government’s decision to cancel the Jadar proposal.


Joint Statement – Press Release

Mars Sa Drine[1] and Extinction Rebellion Serbia

Belgrade/Serbia 09.05.2022 – At the Rio Tinto AGM in Australia on 5 May 2022, the outgoing Chairman of the Board, Mr. Simon Thompson stated that “we very much hope that we will be able to discuss all of the options with the government of Serbia now the elections are out of the way.”[2]

This statement undermines the Serbian people who stood their ground in the streets in 2021 against Rio Tinto. Their voice was reflected by the government’s decision on January 20 2022 to annul the Special Purpose Spatial Plan, Jadar; the legal basis for Rio Tinto’s project and all subsequent permits, including procedure to obtain the environmental permit. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated that “Everything has been annulled. This means we’ve met the demands of environmental protests and have put a full stop on Rio Tinto in Serbia.”[3]

What’s more, over 37,000 notarized signatures have been gathered for a national citizen’s initiative against lithium and borate mining in just 20 days. Initiators will present the bill to parliament after the summer recess. Along with an existing petition of over 290,000 signatures, this shows overwhelming public support against lithium and borate mining. With this in mind Mr. Thompson’s statement is ever more displaced as it comes in total disregard for the will of the people. The Prime Minister herself said: “With this act, everything to do with Project Jadar and Rio Tinto is over. It’s finished.”[4]

This press release contains exclusively the official government decree in Serbian[5] and English[6] languages, along with the cancellation of the EIA procedure.[7]

“Serbia’s effort to transition into a politically stable country that finally works for and listens to its people, will be jeopardized if companies like Rio Tinto believe they can undermine democracy by flexing their muscles and trying to re-introduce nepotism. The government made its choice: it listened to the people.”  Bojana  Novakovic, Mars Sa Drine Collective

“Serbia will not be used to absolve the EU’s or Rio Tinto’s guilt for not having acted on climate change. The people of Serbia have recognized that food and water are more important than the profits of a multinational corporation, inconvenient as that may be for Rio Tinto. Milica D. Zavrnot Extinction Rebellion Serbia

[1] Marš sa Drine is a national campaign against the mining of lithium and borates in Serbia. We are a collective of over 20 NGOs, citizens, independent experts, activists from Serbia and beyond, united to protect the Jadar Valley and the rest of Serbia from the devastating effects of mining on fertile soil. Our mission is to support locals who protect their land against lithium & borate exploitation and the forced relocation that entails. We work based on social, environmental, economic and legal principles.

[2] https://www.reuters.com/business/rio-tinto-keen-restart-talks-stalled-serbian-lithium-project-2022-05-05/

[3] https://www.politika.rs/sr/clanak/497517/Brnabic-Ukinut-prostorni-plan-za-Jadar-i-sve-ostale-odluke

[4] https://www.politika.rs/sr/clanak/497517/Brnabic-Ukinut-prostorni-plan-za-Jadar-i-sve-ostale-odluke

[5] Serbian Version: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/drlsu1460xfj9fz/AAAd9wN4OM71zRvwxnWiFVu5a?dl=0

[6] English Version: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ztygwe99pyy4whp/AACCyDorgSuQ88laOkLns5TEa?dl=0

[7] https://novaekonomija.rs/vesti-iz-zemlje/poni%C5%A1tena-sva-re%C5%A1enja-ministarstva-za-projekat-jadar

Povezani članci

Poslednje objavljeno