The exploitation of lithium in Serbia will be an aggressive procedure

27.Nov 2020.

President of the Coalition for Sustainable Mining of Serbia Zvezdan Kalmar noted that the exploitation of lithium in Serbia would involve the use of huge amounts of water, energy and chemicals, “which the Jadar Valley could not stand” and specified that digging lithium and processing it into a usable form for batteries and accumulators – extremely aggressive. In his view, that would mean more than 300 square kilometers of polluted space, both from chemicals and from landfills and flotation.

He estimated that the rivers there will be endangered, but also beekeeping, because the purity of honey will not be ensured, since no one will buy honey from bees that are responsible for sulfuric acid. A significant part of western Serbia will be endangered, both upstream from Jadar and downstream. International watercourses will also be endangered, while the land and air will be mostly polluted in that region around Jadar, Kalmar pointed out. It is a very flooded area in the basin of the river Jadar, which flows into the Drina, he explained and explained that it is not possible to organize a huge production of lithium, which means bringing water from the Drina through pipes in the length of 20 kilometers.

Because there will be a big floods and in periods of drought, the need of agriculture and the population for water will face the needs of that plant, said Kalmar. He therefore emphasizes the request to make an alternative development scenario and impact assessment, which would include social, environmental and economic impacts, which would annul the special purpose plan for the opening of the Jadarit mine.

Kalmar advocates that the mining company bear all the costs, “every gram of pollution, every drop of water it will use, every milligram of land it will overturn to dig up the ore and all the pollution in the next eternity to bear” decades. As he said, the coalition advocates that the mining company buys the land from the citizens in a direct agreement, but also for sustainable mining, which will bear the costs of pollution.

Asked about lithium mining in the world, Kalmar answered that two mines are planned in Europe, in Spain and Portugal, and that local communities oppose it in both places.

Now it is mostly dug in South America, where numerous examples show that a large number of people are exposed to pollution, Kalmar added, noting that “the amount of lithium in our country is very small compared to the already proven deposits.”

That is why the global market will not feel anything, “if this is not dug up”, Kalmar is convinced, and reminds that there are technologies and places in the world where lithium can be produced from other forms, but that it is even more important that no one recycles lithium.

“We are constantly looking for a new source, not recycling the existing one,” Kalmar concluded.