BBC – Serbia revokes Rio Tinto lithium mine permits following protests

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Serbia has withdrawn the exploration licences of Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto following weeks of protests over plans for a lithium mine.

“All permits were annulled… we put an end to Rio Tinto in Serbia,” Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Thursday.

The decision comes just weeks ahead of Serbia’s general election in April.

Relations between Belgrade and Canberra have also soured recently over Australia’s treatment and deportation of Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic, the world’s number one men’s tennis player who was unable to compete in the Australian Open, has supported the protests against the controversial mine.

In December, he posted images on social media of demonstrators and green landscapes along with comments written in Serbian such as “clean air and water are the keys to health” and “nature is our mother”.

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