Today, Rio Tinto called on experts from various fields and opponents of the ‘Jadar’ Project to conduct a dialogue based on facts to avoid further misleading the public.
As stated in the Rio Tinto announcement, the spread of misinformation and unfounded claims hinders a public discussion about the project based on facts and providing valid information. Rio Tinto notes that numerous inaccurate claims about the ‘Jadar’ Project are being circulated, and all the facts are publicly available on the ‘Rio Tinto Serbia’ website: https://riotintoserbia.com/
“Rio Tinto” states that the claim that the ‘Jadar’ Project requires tens of thousands of hectares is inaccurate, noting that the total land needed for the project is 390 hectares – 220 hectares in the central project area and 170 hectares for the Štavice Valley landfill site.
“Rio Tinto” further states that the assertion that geological research was conducted without the landowner’s permission and harmed the environment is untrue. The company claims that all work was carried out in accordance with the Law on Mining and Geological Research and that access rights to exploration sites were established for each activity with the consent of property owners.
Boreholes are regularly inspected, and in case of damage, all faults are immediately addressed,” states Rio Tinto. The company emphasizes that the claim that the tailings spill from the ‘Jadar’ Project would endanger the environment is incorrect and stresses that this is not possible because a liquid tailings facility is not planned.
Furthermore, Rio Tinto claims that the assertion that the use of sulfuric acid would emit sulfur vapors and damage the land is incorrect. They emphasize that sulfuric acid will be used in the ‘Jadar’ Project at a temperature of 90 degrees, preventing sulfur dioxide evaporation.
“It will not be possible for sulfuric acid to damage the land, as the entire process will take place in closed systems. Sulfuric acid has a wide range of applications, and its use is strictly regulated by the regulations of the Government of Serbia and the best international practices,” states Rio Tinto.
The company also states that it is incorrect to claim that Serbia and its citizens would not have economic benefits from the project. They emphasize that the ‘Jadar’ Project would be the largest greenfield investment in modern Serbian history, estimated at around $2.5 billion according to 2021 estimates.
“According to the consulting firm ‘Ergo,’ the project’s contribution to the national and local government budgets would amount to 180 million euros annually at full operational capacity. It would create 1,300 permanent jobs, and during construction, up to 3,500 temporary jobs,” notes the Australian company.
They also state that, when considering multiplicative effects, an additional 3,265 jobs will be created throughout Serbia. Each year of the project’s operation is expected to attract around 700 million euros in direct added value, contributing to a growth of over three percent of Serbia’s current GDP.
“Rio Tinto” also refutes the claim that the company approved the decision to halt the project and bribed government officials. The company emphasizes that it has no influence on Serbia’s regulations, and the Serbian government adopted a decree on the cessation of the validity of the special-purpose spatial plan for the implementation of the ‘Jadar’ Project.
Furthermore, Rio Tinto notes that, in order to protect the company’s interests, they will use all available legal means to prevent any further spread of inaccurate information, as reported by Tanjug.
Source: Serbia Business