Conservation of biodiversity

Our ambition is to achieve no “net loss” of existing biodiversity in the project area. This entails effective forecasting, monitoring and mitigating of any negative impacts of the project. We would adhere to the environmental protection principles, practices and standards of the European Union. During all phases of the project we would strictly comply with the laws and regulations on nature conservation of the Republic of Serbia. Our internal standards are aligned with best industry practice and benchmarks of international organisations, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). These standards are more stringent than the laws and regulations of the Republic of Serbia on certain requirements.


  • What has Rio Tinto done so far with respect to biodiversity assessment?

    Over the last five years, two large independent studies on the biodiversity in the Jadar area have been conducted. The first biodiversity study was conducted by an international environmental resource management company between 2016 and 2020. The second biodiversity research study was completed in 2021. It was developed by a consortium of experts from faculties and institutes from Serbia and it provided an in-depth understanding of different types of habitats, potential impacts, as well as the identification of plants and animals that may require additional protective measures.

  • What is the proposed project area and what eco-systems would be affect?

    The proposed project area, which includes an underground mine and an ore processing plant, would cover a total of 220 hectares. Taking into account the location of the waste and processing residue facility in the Štavice Valley, the total area would encompass 390 hectares.

    Over 80% of the 220-hectare area consists of agricultural land, witha very small part of deciduous forests. The proposed project area is not not a protected natural site. It is inhabited by plant and animal species common to the wider area of the Jadar Valley and for moderately wet habitats typical of Western Serbia.

  • Would Jadar endanger endemic plant and animal species?

    Endemic species are not registered in the proposed project area, and 98% of all identified species fall into the category of the lowest ranking of the Red List of Endangered Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN). Species in these categories have stable populations in Serbia and are not in any way endangered or potentially endangered. Approximately 2% of species that belong to a higher category should be protected to avoid further impacts, as well as a change in their conservation status.

  • What are the main impacts of Jadar on the biodiversity of the Jadar Valley?

    Significant funding is earmarked for researching, improving or creating alternative habitats for those species on which the impact of the project is unavoidable. Our no "net loss" ambition would be achieved in cooperation with consultants for nature protection and with relevant experts. For instance, if the project was to go ahead, we would need to remove 145 hectares of forest. In line with the Rulebook on Compensatory Measures, we would plant 300 hectares of new forest, which would ensure a sustainable and quality forest ecosystem.

  • How would the impact of Jadar on biodiversity be monitored?

    We would continuously monitor biodiversity at 20 points across the proposed project area. The aim of continuous monitoring is to identify and determine changes in biodiversity in the Jadar Valley before, during and after the working life of the mine. Diagnostic species (bioindicators) would be monitored at different geographical locations. The collected data would serve to define protection measures and plans for the sustainable closure of the mine after its lifetime.

    We also plan to involve stakeholders in the monitoring process, whether that be for designing a dedicated biodiversity programme or providing access to data. The intention of these initiatives will be to encourage the involvement of local community representatives in biodiversity monitoring and to support with raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity in local communities.