The support of the Jadar local communities and government has been – and will remain – fundamental to our ability to develop the project. We want to develop strong, trusting and lasting relationships with these communities and this means initiating and maintaining dialogue, and seeking to ensure that all stakeholders understand the project and its potential impacts.
We have dedicated channels of communication, such as open day events where anyone interested can talk to our experts, ask questions and learn about the potential environmental impacts of the Jadar project. This regular engagement is helping us understand community priorities, concerns and expectations. And it informs our environmental experts’ knowledge, so they can consider adjustments in the plans for the future mine, processing plant and associated infrastructure.
So far, we have held 19 events about the environment, air and water quality, noise pollution, biodiversity, spatial planning, cultural heritage, property and legal affairs and opportunities for local suppliers. More than 450 people – including 220 students from Loznica schools – have attended these events to date, and we will continue to hold such events regularly.
We also plan to establish a Committee for Environmental Protection to ensure that every voice is heard. We have begun engaging with the community, invited all interested parties to get involved and asked them to name other members and experts they would like to see included. Our aim is to create a forum in which everyone can raise concerns and ask questions – and help ensure that we address both with clarity and transparency.
Donations and Sponsorships
Our local community donations and sponsorship programme began in 2019. To date, we have donated almost €70,000 to support local initiatives in education, health and safety and environment. This includes our COVID-19 response and recovery support donations:
In 2019, we established the Local Roads Committee to help us manage the use and maintenance of local roads by our employees and the local community – to ensure we can all share the roads safely and efficiently. The Committee is made up of members of the local community, Public Enterprise Loznica Razvoj – the municipality department responsible for road maintenance – and a Rio Tinto road engineer.
Recognising that local agriculture is essential to the lives and livelihoods of the community, we joined Poljosavet, a local agricultural advisory company, to support over 400 farmers through one day events, household visits and phone consultations. This initiative is supported by the Loznica-based Regional Development Agency (RDA), the City of Loznica and the Brezjak Community office.
Information on how to apply for funding is available at the Rio Tinto Information Centres in Loznica and Brezjak.
We are conducting land acquisition in line with Serbian law and global best practices, as well as Performance Standard 5 of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) and our own internal standards.
We recognise that land acquisition is a sensitive and important topic and we are committed to ensuring this is done in a transparent, sensitive and fair manner. We have a dedicated team in regular dialogue with the local landowners and communities, supported by a team of certified land and asset valuators with Serbian and international experience.
We are conducting the land acquisition programme with all landowners through negotiated agreements, and we will continue to have open and transparent relationships with all interested landowners. The way that compensation is calculated has been explained in detail to landowners. In sum, we will cover the following costs:
- Value of replacing the land and assets at the cost of a full replacement
- Replacement value for buildings, such as homes and farming infrastructure, at the cost of a full replacement
- Residential allowance for landowners needing to relocate
- Additional payment for landowners moving early
- Property transfer tax, transactions costs, such as notary and public register fees
We will also provide:
- Expert legal support to landowners needing to solve property issues related to their land
- Legal support for landowners to secure tenure and ownership documentation for land purchases
- Finding an alternative home and agriculture land
Our goal is to ensure that both sides benefit from the acquisition process and that landowners have the same or better quality of life and work compared to the one they had before the move. In accordance with international standards, we are committed to supporting the process of restoring or improving the source of income for people whose lives may be affected by land purchases. Plans to restore the source of income will be prepared together with the households affected, encouraging them to actively participate in the process of defining the plan and to meet the needs of their household and local community.