Photo: "Rio Tinto y Puente Gadea (Villarrasa)" by sky_hlv is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A rally in Belgrade organized by ecological groups demanded a ban on planned lithium mining in the Balkan countries. The protesters specifically demanded the government revoke their commitment to Rio Tinto. They expressed their discontent over the endangered environment and public health and Rio Tinto’s plan to open a lithium mine in western Serbia.

Photo: "Rio Tinto y Puente Gadea (Villarrasa)" by sky_hlv is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The rally was one of many in the past few months. Thousands of people, activists, residents participated in the rally to oppose the construction of a lithium mine. Along with rallies, 130,000 people signed a petition against the project.

Rio Tinto said it would use 100 tons of concentrated sulfuric acid per day. Academia from SANU, Nenad Kostic, said that diluting this amount of sulfuric acid requires 100 million tons of water per day. Dilute acid will not go away on its own but remain on the site.

The planned mine would destroy thousands of hectares of fertile land. The tailing would be huge and hold millions of cubic meters of some of the most toxic materials. The tailing will also endanger underground water deposits in western Serbia. Last but not least, it will also wipe out the biodiversity in the Jadar valley.

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