The recent Leposavic tailings spill did not cause any environmental catastrophe or any pollution in the watercourse of the Ibar river. The quality of the Ibar has not been jeopardized and it did not decrease. The disturbed and worried public can now heave a sigh of relief and rely on the reports of expert teams – not on malicious individuals and the media who exaggerated the spill, presenting it as an ecological disaster, which fortunately did not and should not happen – the general director of Trepca, Jovan Dimkic told media in Leposavic today.
Dimkic presented several reports confirming the situation is regular after the recent tailing spill into the Ibar River: Trepca’s environmental service, the reports of the Institute for Public Health in North Mitrovica, the findings of the Kosovo Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals and the reports of experts from Bor Mine, who inspected the area where the tailings spilled.
He added that the Ibar watercourse was inspected over several days in ten places – from North Mitrovica to Raska.
Although Trepca was permitted to continue flotation yesterday, its management decided not to start the operation until the experts from their plant strengthen the rampart.
Dimkic announced that the ore production in Beli Brdo and Crnac mines will continue in two days after the rampart is reinforced.
He claimed that water quality of Ibar River was examined for several days in a row in about ten locations, all showing the water is regular.
„We have very detailed results (samples) from about ten places, collected over two or three days. Yesterday, samples used to test the water in the river Ibar were collected in the municipality of Raska in several places as well – all of which show no pollution caused by this event,“ he said.
Dimkic told media on the other hand that the Ibar watercourse is “slightly contaminated” near the tailings. He argued that this is not the consequence of the latest accident and that the pollution remains within the permitted limits.
“The spillage of tailings in Leposavic did not cause any ecological disaster or any pollution in the wider downstream area of the Ibar river”, said Dimkic.
He however criticized the media and „malicious individuals“ for disturbing the public by „exaggerating the spill“ and „presenting it as an ecological disaster.“
Expressing hope that the media will use these reports as a lesson to start reporting more seriously, Dimkic further said that the media outlets should focus their reports on expert opinion and not on “malicious individuals or local politicians who are not well versed in this matter and do not seem to have the best intentions.”
He also revealed today that this plant solved the issue of dust that the residents of Leposavic, especially the residents of the village of Gornji Krnjin, have been complaining about for years by pouring about ten thousand cubic meters of clay soil along the perimeter of the dam from which the dust spread.
Dimkic pointed out that a similar problem was observed at other tailings in the Mitrovica and Zvecan municipalities. These tailings will no longer be in function, including the tailings pond in Leposavic because a new tailings pond will be made in Stubilcki Potok, he announced.
A part of the Trepca tailings pond in Leposavic spilled into the Ibar river on January 17th when a part of the rampart (2.5 to 3 meters in length) that separated the tailings pond from the river collapsed. The rampant was quickly fixed, Trepca plant confirmed at the time, announcing an assessment into how much waste material spilled into the Ibar.
Aleksandar Macan, the head of the Institute for Public Health in Kraljevo, through which the river Ibar flows, also confirmed the day after the tailings spilled into the river that the water in Kraljevo is safe to use and all measures were taken to keep it that way.
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