The Ecological Uprising (Ekološki Ustanak) organization claims that the Serbian government had engaged an American company to lobby in favour of Rio Tinto’s Jadar project.
The project drew mass protests forcing the government to change spatial plans for the Jadar area, effectively preventing the plans to mine lithium in western Serbia.
Ecological Uprising released documents in English and Serbian which it claims prove that the Jadar project has not been stopped. The documents are alleged to be from the Randon Group whose owner John Randon is experienced in handling strategic projects and restoring relations between mining companies and the public.
The organization is demanding confirmation or denial of its claims about the Randon Group from President Aleksandar Vucic and the Serbian government.
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic denied knowing anything about Randon Group’s engagement. “I have no information about that. I don’t know the man,” she told a news conference.
In the meantime, Rio Sava Explorations, a daughter company of Rio Tinto, filed nine lawsuits against Serbia before the Administrative Court due to the suspension of the Jadar project and lithium mining works.
The first two lawsuits, according to the court, were filed on May 13, 2022, and refer to the decisions of the Serbian government to cancel the decrees adopted by the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection related to the underground exploitation of boron and lithium and the environmental impact assessment.
Two other lawsuits against the Government were filed after its Administrative Commission rejected the appeals of the Rio Sava Company, while two lawsuits against the Ministry of Agriculture were filed because of inspection measures.
(Voice of America, eKapija, 12.11.2023)
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