Ever since the public became aware of the applied geological research of boron, lithium, and related elements in the Valjevo villages, the narrative to stop that project has been going on.
For the exploration field of the Valjevo-Mionica basin, the High Court in Valjevo in 2022 passed a temporary measure prohibiting applied geological research, and for the area of Valjevo North, the Ministry of Mining and Energy rejected the request of the Euro Lithium Balkan company for the extension of geological research, because they didn’t complete at least 75% of the scope of investigative works planned by the project.
A project of EUR 1.5 million – a gift to the city
At the end of last year the public by surprise was informed that the Euro Lithium Balkan company would conduct hydro-geological research in the area of the Valjevo-Mionica basin.
“Based on the results of the Study on the hydro-geothermal potential of the Valjevo-Mionica basin, which was carried out by the Department of Hydro-geology of the Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade at the initiative of our company, the development of projects for research into the possibility of using geothermal resources for the purpose of producing thermal energy that could be used in the district heating system in Valjevo, as well as for possible use in processes related to the technological processes of a possible deposit of mineral raw materials, was started”, was stated in the company’s announcement.
In the statement it`s also highlighted that the Euro Lithium Balkan will finance all the costs of the research and that the city will be able to enjoy the results and objects once they are finished for free. “The Euro Lithium Balkan company will finance the technical control and execution of research works, the construction of exploratory/production wells, as well as the Elaborate on Geothermal Resource Reserves, entirely from its own resources. All the results and objects after the research according to the project worth around one million euros will be left at the city’s disposal without any compensation”.
The law allows the change of geological surveys
The Ministry of Mining and Energy gave permission to the company for conducting hydro-geological research in May of this year, despite the fact that citizens of Valjevo and the surrounding villages, included in the research field, were sceptical about the intentions of the company.
Although Euro Lithium Balkan claimed that applied hydro-geological research represents a special type of research and technical solutions, conception and results do not provide information about mineral raw materials, in other words, they are not used to obtain results in connection with geological research of pine and the accompanying association of elements that the company Euro Lithium Balkan deals with other exploration areas, the legal representative of the People’s Movement “Maš sa Kolubare” Sreten Đorđević, believes that the Canadian company has no experience in the field of geothermal water exploration and that it is an attempt to retain the exploration field.
“In the Law on Mining, there are provisions on changing the type and subject of research. This means that the company that conducts research has the possibility to switch to the research of other geological material based on the amended project”, says Đorđević. In his words, in this way the temporary measure would be avoided; additionally, Đorđević underlines that this can be attempt of the company to survive in the Valjevo exploration area with a plan to request a permit change after some time and again switch to geological exploration of boron and lithium. Considering that the use of agricultural land from the first to the fifth class for non-agricultural purposes is prohibited, the public closely monitors where research will be conducted.
Two promising zones
In the project, which is available to the public, it is stated that two zones have been singled out as promising, within the Valjevo-Beloševac investigation area. One is the area of the city Toplana, but due to the composition of the soil, it is proposed in the project that research should be done in the area of the waste-water treatment plant. The second zone is in the village of Beloševac, but there would be a restriction due to the nearby Sports and Recreational Center Petnica.
One one hand, the citizens believe that the story is over and that there will be no pine or lithium mine, while on the other hand, the city leaders are silent passing the ball to the relevant responsible ministry. During that time, the company sponsors sports clubs, individual citizens’ associations, and city events.
The company claims that they want to help use renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels through this project, but many, however, are sceptical believing that in this Euro Lithium Balkan is buying time.
This post is also available in: Italiano