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Mihajlovic: Sustainable mining is the basis of development, professionals are the one to ask about it, not those who use half-truths and lies

Mihajlovic: Sustainable mining is the basis of development, professionals are the one to ask about it, not those who use half-truths and lies

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy, prof. Zorana Mihajlovic, Ph.D., said today in Bor, regarding criticism of all mining activities in the country, that mining in Serbia should be sustainable and contribute to the development of the economy.

Mihajlovic, who previously visisted the works on Starica Mountain in Majdanpek, said that it was good that MP Aleksandar Jovanovic Cuta was also visiting the site, but that it was not good that he tries to change the topic every time he doesn't have an answer to the facts.

"My main impression after visiting and talking to people in Majdanpek, who are in a dilemma, is that there must be more communication, more information, and I think we have once again explained the essence. Whenever you have a lot of half-information, misinformation, then there is misunderstanding and fear and political interference. If we listen to MP Jovanovic, then there is no mining, then more than 1,500 people will be unemployed in Majdanpek alone, and seven thousand in "Zijin". Mining implies knowledge, expertise, responsibility, procedures, and we have a situation where every argument we present is attacked in response, without any facts. With such attacks, the issue is not Zorana Mihajlovic, but the issue is whether we want sustainable or any kind of mining in Serbia, and how mining in Serbia can be sustainable if the profession is asked about it, and not those who attack without facts and on the basis of half truth. We can always ask ourselves what the alternative is, and it is certainly not shutting down mining, but creating conditions for everyone to be well. The average salary of employees in "Zijin" is 98,000 dinars, and people here know this well, but they should know it in the whole of Serbia," said Mihajlovic.

Deputy Prime Minister added that mining has been the most important economic branch in Eastern Serbia for decades and that since the establishment of the state's strategic partnership with the "Ziđin" company, investments are increasing, but also that much more attention is paid to environmental protection.

"Before the arrival of "Zijin", RTB "Bor" was on the verge of bankruptcy, with liabilities exceeding 1.5 billion dollars and losses exceeding the amount of capital exceeding 600 million dollars. Since 2018, since "Zijin" has been a strategic partner, and the state still owns 37 percent, total investments amount to 1.9 billion euros, and much greater attention and investments are also in ecology, especially when we talk about land reclamation. More than 200 million euros in environmental protection alone. As if we forgot what RTB "Bor" used to look like, I remember Bor when people had nothing to live on. When we talk about Majdanpek, reclamation was done there for the first time after a long time. The bottom line is that this region lives and will live from mining, it is the basis of economic development. To develop, to provide a better standard of living and to have a healthier environment. I believe that it is possible to have sustainable, green mining in accordance with European standards, because it is the only way," she said in Bor, where she attended the signing of a contract between the company "Zijin Mining" and the PUC "Vodovod" in Bor on the connection of 400 households from the village of Metovnica.