The Regulatory Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment (RERI) has said that the Ministry of Mining and Energy is unjustifiably extending the deadline for Rio Tinto to obtain a license for lithium mining in Serbia.
Rio Tinto has been trying for more than two years to obtain approval to open a lithium exploration mine in Serbia and it needs a document that allows it to start mining lithium in Serbia, despite the fact that it did not attach the necessary documentation to the relevant application, RERI added.
The Serbian government did say that the Rio Tinto lithium project in Serbia had been stopped and that all line authorities would immediately suspend all relevant procedures.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Mining and Energy has not stopped the procedure for issuing the permit for lithium exploitation, but over the course of two years, without giving clear reasons, extended the deadline for the company to complete the documentation 11 times.
“Rio Tinto does not have the document on determining the scope and content of the environmental impact assessment study, because it was canceled in January of last year,” says Hristina Vojvodić, RERI’s legal advisor.
Although the company filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court against the annulment decision, this does not constitute a justified reason for extending the deadline for supplementing the relevant documentation, the statement added.
Source: Serbia monitor