RERI: Rio Tinto Still in Procedure of Obtaining Permit for Mining of Lithium

Source: eKapija Wednesday, 12.04.2023. 09:24
(Photo: Shutterstock/Angel DiBilio)
The company Rio Tinto has been trying to obtain the authorization for the exploitation field for two years now, a document that would enable it to start mining lithium in Serbia, despite that it hasn’t submitted the necessary documentation along with the request, as announced by the Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI).

As RERI claims, Rio Tinto lacks the Decision on determining the scope and the contents of the environmental impact assessment study, which was canceled in January 2022, after the Decree on the termination of the spatial plan of the special-purpose area for this project.

– At the time, the Government of Serbia announced that they had put a stop to the project of Rio Tinto in Serbia and that all the competent organs would, without delay, terminate all the procedures commenced based on said Spatial Plan and annul all the acts adopted for the purpose of the realization of the project. However, the Ministry of Mining and Energy has so far not stopped the procedure for the issuing of the authorization for the exploitation field. Instead, for two years, not citing any clear reasons, it has extended the deadline for the company to enhance its documentation as many as 11 times – they say in a press release.

– The Ministry of Mining and Energy was obliged to reject the request for the exploitation field, because there are no justified reasons to extend the deadlines. Rio Tinto does not have the Decision on determining the scope and the contents of the environmental impact assessment study, because it was canceled in January last year. Although the company has filed a complaint regarding the decision on cancelation to the Administrative Court, that does not represent a justified reason for extending the deadline for enhancing the documentation – says Hristina Vojvodic, legal consultant from RERI.

They remind that, in March this year, RERI filed the statement on entering the dispute on the side of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

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