Protesters block roads in Serbia over lithium mining project, Auto News, ET Auto

Belgrade: Hundreds of environmental protesters blocked roads in Belgrade and other Serbian towns on Saturday, angry at plans by mining giant Rio Tinto to extract lithium in the Balkan nation.

Significant deposits of lithium, a key component of electric car batteries, lie around the western town of Loznica, where the Anglo-Australian company has started buying land but is still waiting for the state’s green light to begin. mining.

In Belgrade, demonstrators blocked the capital’s main bridge and a major crossroads for an hour, after clashes with security forces who finally let them continue their action.

“I’m here because I don’t want them to sell the land of my ancestors. Serbia is not for sale,” one of the protesters, Milan Milosavljevic, 31, told AFP. .

Protesters also blocked roads in several other Serbian towns, including Novi Sad in the north, central Kragujevac, Sabac in the northwest and the town of Valjevo in the west, according to the N1 television channel.

Rio Tinto discovered reserves of lithium in the Loznica region in 2006.

The company intends to invest $ 2.4 billion in the project, according to Vesna Prodanovic, director of Rio Sava, Rio Tinto’s sister company in Serbia.

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