Serbia scraps planned Rio Tinto lithium mine after protests
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Trying to defuse large protests by environmentalists, Serbia’s populist government said Thursday that it was canceling all licenses for mining giant Rio Tinto to open a lithium mine in the Balkan country.
"We have fulfilled all the requests of the environmental protests and put an end to Rio Tinto in (Serbia)," Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said in a televised address. "Everything is finished. It’s over."
Used in batteries for electric cars, lithium is considered one of the most sought-after metals of the future.
For several weekends, thousands of demonstrators in Belgrade and other Serbian towns have blocked main roads and bridges to protest the planned mine, which they say would cause severe environmental damage.