Environmental Activists Disrupt Mining Conference in Belgrade

Environmental Activists Disrupt Mining Conference in Belgrade

Protest Against Potential Pollution

Environmental activists in Serbia have made a bold statement against mining operations, storming a conference at Belgrade’s Metropol hotel. Their target: the industry representatives discussing mineral resources behind closed doors. The activists unfurled banners and voiced their opposition to mining, an industry they claim poses a threat to Serbia’s natural environment.

Mining Project Controversy

The uproar centers on the halted Jadar lithium project, previously pursued by Rio Tinto. Despite the Serbian government’s revocation of licenses in January 2022, activists are concerned the initiative has not been completely shelved. Environmental groups continue to call for legislative changes to permanently ban lithium mining in Serbia.

Demand for Lithium in Focus

Lithium, a crucial component in EV and electronic batteries, has been dubbed ‘white gold’ due to its value and demand. Serbia’s role in the global production of lithium could have been cemented by the Jadar project. The potential environmental impact, however, has ignited a debate about the country’s industrial direction and the balance between economic gains and ecological preservation.

Electric Vehicle and Battery Production Gaze Towards Serbia

The uncertain status of the Jadar project hasn’t deterred interest in Serbia’s manufacturing capabilities. Rivian has set up a technological center in Belgrade, and Stellantis is transitioning to electric car production in Kragujevac. Additionally, InoBat has expressed intent to build a new EV battery factory, positioning Serbia in the EV and battery technology arena.

International Echoes

Serbia’s environmental protesters are drawing parallels with events in Portugal, where lithium mine concessions have led to political scrutiny and public dissent. These global echoes underscore the growing tension between resource extraction for technological advancement and environmental conservation.

Environmental advocacy continues to influence the mining industry’s landscape, both in Serbia and internationally, as the demand for sustainable practices grows louder.

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