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Project “Jadar” director: We will try to convince the new government and citizens that this is in their interest

The Executive Director of Rio Tinto’s “Jadar” project, Chad Blewett, told N1 that the company has no guarantees or assurances from the Serbian government that the “Jadar” project will be feasible. He stated that they will attempt to convince the new government and the citizens of Serbia that the project is in their best interest.

“There is no agreement. There is nothing new. We cannot do anything until the new government is formed. It is really up to the citizens of Serbia and the government to decide whether this project is good for the Loznica region and whether it is good for Serbia. We believe and are 100 percent confident that we can meet all environmental protection standards and bring benefits to everyone in a safe manner,” he said.

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He added that their intention is to engage with all interested parties.

“As you saw tonight, we had our 110th dialogue session tonight. The only one in which we could not have that dialogue. We didn’t just say we respect the right to peaceful protest, we went further by inviting opponents of the project to come in, including MP Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta. He agreed to enter, and I think he saw what happened,” he said. He claimed that many dialogue participants were unable to enter the building for today’s presentation in Valjevo.

“If we don’t have a dialogue based on facts and if we can’t answer questions, and we have been doing that for the last 7 or 8 months. We have had conversations with a total of 3,000 people across Serbia, mostly in the Loznica area. And they can ask us any question, raise their concerns. We have published a lot of information on our website. We are open to a fact-based dialogue. Opponents of the project use disinformation, and what we saw tonight, to be honest, is a media show,” he said.

Interrupted Presentation

To recall, Rio Tinto scheduled a presentation in Valjevo today, inviting representatives of local communities.

However, in front of the hotel in Valjevo, as reported by N1, numerous citizens and environmental activists showed up, demanding entry.

Upon entering, a commotion ensued during which activists and citizens told the company’s representatives that they did not want the “Jadar” project, with one of them, as recorded by N1, stating: “I do not want you to be here, but I have nowhere else to go. That is the big difference; I have nowhere to go,” one of the activists told the company’s representatives, while others shouted “out” and “get out of Serbia.”

The footage also showed a banner reading “The power is yours, but the land is ours.”

N1’s reporter added that it was unclear why the media was not allowed to cover the entire presentation if, as Rio Tinto claims, it is a project meant to benefit Serbia.

Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta and gathered environmental activists told N1’s reporter before the event that they continue to monitor all developments related to Rio Tinto, as they are convinced that the project has not been (as former Prime Minister Ana Brnabić claimed) terminated, but rather paused.

After the unsuccessful event, Rio Tinto issued a statement claiming that opponents of the “Jadar” project do not want a dialogue.

Source : N1

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