The Regulatory Institute for Renewable Energy and Environment (RERI) and the Association of Young Researchers of Bor have submitted a request to the Ministry of Environmental Protection to inspect the Zijin Bor Copper Company due to the suspicion that it caused the high concentrations of arsenic in the air in 2021 as a result of the company’s copper processing in the foundries in and around the town of Bor.
Hristina Vojvodić from the RERI told Euronews Serbia that high concentrations of arsenic were recorded in the air in 2022. For instance, in late January, the concentration of arsenic in the air was 180 times higher than the permitted value.
“The average permitted value of arsenic in dust (PM10 particles) is 6 nanograms per cubic meter per year. The report shows that these concentrations are exceeded every year at each of the measuring stations in Bor. We can see that the arsenic concentration is not dropping and this can be very dangerous,” Hristina Vojvodić warned.
On the other hand, the Chinese Embassy said that, after acquiring the Bor Smelting and Mining Company (RTB), the Chinese company has invested $217 million in environmental protection and in August last year, it built a new system that collects flue gases in the smelter.
However, Hristina Vojvodić says that although certain measures have been implemented, the flue gas system was built against the relevant law. “That system was built without the Chinese acquiring proper permits and it still operates. A proper environmental impact study is needed, because if that does not happen, then we could have even bigger problems soon,” she said.
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