The minister of mining and energy of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlovic, has stated that Serbia is a mining country and that stopping its development will make it regress.
On TV Happy, she said that lithium, along with copper and gold, was the critical mineral resource in the world and that, by stopping the Jadar project, Serbia had lost the opportunity to be among the first ones in Europe to get the full production chain.
– We have cancelled the decree on the spatial plan, the Jadar project is practically stopped, but we can’t allow mining in Serbia to be stopped, because we are a mining country. Lithium, copper and gold are critical mineral resources in the world, and Serbia is rich with those resources. It is entirely puzzling for someone to say that the mining in our country should be stopped, because it’s not true that Serbia is just an agricultural country and that there’s no need to develop the industry, the mining. If we want to keep people here and create the conditions for those who have left to come back, we mustn’t stop, because then that means that we are going backwards, and that will cause people to keep leaving Serbia – Mihajlovic said, as announced by the ministry.
She added that the idea was for Serbia to have a lithium mine, a battery factory and an electric vehicle factory, whereby the country would increase its GDP growth by another EUR 15 billion.
– The future lies in mining. If we don’t develop it, we will once again be sidelined. Serbia was among the first countries to start the research and it’s not wrong that the authorities issued the permits at the time, and now we will end up being at the back when it comes to the exploitation of lithium. Other states have already commenced the exploitation, and we have given up. I’m sorry that we didn’t get the results of the environmental impact studies. If we had, those who were against it, for various reasons, would have seen that it was a new technology. It would be an underground mine, fully digitized, with the latest technologies, highly sophisticated equipment, with highly paid jobs. There would have been no sulfuric acid evaporations, no frying of jadarite at a thousand degrees, no liquid waste, nothing that citizens have been scared with for months – Zorana Mihajlovic concluded.