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Lead Zinc mine by Tara Resources face local community opposition, environmental concerns or lack of communications?

The participants of the public presentation strongly criticized the two scenarios for the development of the area, which include the exploitation of ore, and expressed numerous objections to the procedures and the way in which the impact assessment was done.

The public presentation of the draft of the Detailed Spatial Plan (DPP) for the area of ​​the concession area for the exploitation of mineral raw materials – Brskovo was marked by numerous remarks, criticisms and doubts from the people of Mojkovac about the consequences of the possible opening of the mine.

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The Vice-President of the Municipality, Ivan Ašanin, said that the current local government had no chance to take different actions. He had numerous objections to the procedures and said that the documentation does not answer questions related to the amount of dust, how it will affect the snow on Bjelasica, how transport will be organized during the construction and operation of the mine, and how the mine project corresponds with plans regarding the opening of ski resorts and winter tourism.

According to him, the assessment of the impact on the environment should have been done before everything else, and a public discussion should have been held about it. He said that, if a decision is made to open the mine, the local government will try to protect Mojkovac from all harmful consequences

Gordana Đukanović, MSc in chemical technology and inorganic technology engineer, who, as she explained, has a long experience in the field of environmental protection, said that the question of opening a mine in Mojkovac is “a question of health, life and death for three generations”.

She claims that the procedures were not followed properly, and that the authors of the study referred to five laws, four of which are no longer valid. Đukanović said that although she is a civil servant, she speaks about the mine project as a representative of Bjelojević. She reminded that the state plan for the exploitation of mineral raw materials, which is valid until 2029, does not foresee the exploitation of lead and zinc in Mojkovac.

“During my 14 years of work at the Environmental Protection Agency, I have seen all kinds of documents, but I have not had the opportunity to see these two documents, such as the DPP and the Strategy. I am now ashamed in front of you that I am a civil servant… Not a single procedure was properly followed. The document processors had a big problem to make a document out of what they had at their disposal. What kind of input documents and input information did they have? That was all the obligation of the state to deliver to them and to stand behind it,” she said.

According to her, research should be carried out in the area where the future mine is planned until 2029, and then, “with a broad approach, first of all, all the obtained results should be presented to the citizens of Mojkovac”. She called into question the “objectivity in the description of the conceptual solutions given in the DPP”. According to Đukanović, one of the key objections is that mercury was not mentioned in the documentation.

“There are so many people living in Brskovo that it is treated as an ore deposit in the state plan. From this follows the issue of waste containing mercury. This calls into question both exploitation and technology, but also economic justification”, she warned.

She also questioned the validity of the research submitted with the documentation, according to which the majority of Mojkovac citizens are in favor of opening the mine. She asked the authorities to answer numerous questions about the methodology of that research.

Doctor of Biological Sciences Snežana Dragićević reminded that in none of the valid spatial plans is planned the exploitation of ore in Brskovo, but the rehabilitation of the degraded environment. Dragićević believes that UNESCO’s opinion should be sought, when it comes to the possible impact on the Tara, into which the mine flows, and the documentation plans to relocate that watercourse.

The owners of the properties also spoke about the impact of the opening of the mine, who, as they say, are not willing to sell them in order to implement the project. One of the key arguments against the opening of the mine was the protection of archeological sites, cemeteries and cultural monuments. The traffic connection with the location where the mine should be opened in the future is also problematic.

The residents of Mojkovac also warned that the esplatation zone overlaps with the boundaries of the biosphere reserve under UNESCO protection (Tara basin), in the protected zone is the NP “Biogradska gora” and borders with part of the municipality of Bijelo Polje.


Source: Montenegro Business

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