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Brnabic: We will not allow lithium exports from Serbia

Christian Fernsby |
Serbian PM Ana Brnabic said on Friday a decision on a Jadar lithium mine would be made only after an environmental impact study was complete and added that Serbia would not allow exports of its lithium.

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Responding to reporters’ questions after an award ceremony for pupils, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Brnabic said that, even though the mining company Rio Tinto had been present in Serbia since 2004, previous Serbian authorities had asked no questions about the fate of Serbian lithium.

“We, as the government of Serbia, were the first to request from Rio Tinto that, in case the project gets underway and lithium mining begins, the entire chain remain in Serbia and that Rio Tinto work together with the government of Serbia on bringing in investors,” Brnabic noted.

She also said only an agreement on cooperation had been signed with Rio Tinto but that the document guaranteed nothing except that, if the lithium mining got underway, the chain would remain in Serbia and that there would be no exports of lithium.

Responding to objections about alleged non-transparency in the project, she said she did not know what kind of non-transparency the objections were about as everything was "open and public."

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