Thousands of Serbians block roads to protest lithium mine project (Al – December 11, 2021)

Protesters fear mining by multinational companies will cause huge damage to local environment.

Environmental protesters have blocked roads in Serbia for a third consecutive weekend to oppose plans for lithium mining, despite a bid by the country’s populist government to defuse the demonstrations by agreeing to the key demands of organisers.

Several thousand people braved rain and cold weather on Saturday to halt traffic in the capital, Belgrade, and in other cities and towns in the Balkan nation.

The protesters want the government to fully remove any possibility of companies initiating mining projects. Environmentalists have argued that extracting lithium, a key component in electric car batteries, causes huge damage to mined areas.

Serbian authorities withdrew two key laws that activists said were designed to help multinational mining company Rio Tinto open a mine in the country’s lithium-rich west.

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