2nd OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT PETER ŽIGA
(SZOPK, ZO Košice 2013, Ulica pokroku 7, 040 11 Košice, +421 905 384171, firstname.lastname@example.org )
2nd OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT PETER ŽIGA
Ing. Peter Žiga, PhD. - minister
Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic
Nám. Ľ. Štúra 1
812 35 Bratislava
in connection with the approaching date of your decision in the matter of Ludovika Energy's appeal against the cancellation of the geological exploration licence for uranium ore in the Čermeľ-Jahodná territory we remind you once again of our requirement that your decision making should be driven by the interests of the affected people and the mission of your ministry - protection of the environment.
Right now you are facing a dilemma whether you shall decide in favour of local municipal communities and the constitutional right of their citizens to a healthy environment or whether you shall favour marginal business interests of a private company that endanger the quality of environment of the Košice people. You can either comply with the legal arguments of the general prosecutor or - fearing the threat of questionable financial compensations - succumb to the undue pressure of Ludovika Energy (LE). We are sure that if you decide to allow continuation of the geological exploration, people of your hometown Košice and its surroundings will perceive you as a helping hand of uranium lobbyists and no possible future statements of yours will be able to change their opinion. Despite many misleading public statements made by the uranium company (and unfortunately also some made by representatives of your ministry office) that the geological exploration is unrelated to mining and that LE is only an exploration company that has never planned any mining activity, the majority of the citizens of Košice is very well aware of the fact that the one and only aim of the geological exploration at Jahodná is to facilitate future mining and that each day of continuation of the exploration makes uranium mining in the neighbourhoods of their homes come closer. In connection with this, we would like to drive your attention to the fact that the current managing directors of LE (who were at the time representatives of Kremnica Gold Inc.) already a couple of years ago - although without success - submitted their application for establishing a mining area at Jahodná (see the attachment Decision of the District mining office in Košice no. 24-44/2008 and other attached documents).
Regarding LE's threat of reclaiming financial compensations from Slovak Republic we would like to state the following:
- We believe that it is unacceptable for the Ministry to change its already published legal opinion and to change its decision under pressure of any external threat.
- In accordance with the geological law the Ministry has asked the affected municipal communities to provide their attitudes to the continuation of the geological exploration. Doing this, the Ministry has recognized them as entities having the affected party status in the matter. Consequently, we expect that the attitudes of the municipal communities will be crucial in deciding whether the geological exploration licence for the territory for LE should be renewed or not.
- We have available an independent legal analysis that gives LE no chance to successfully reclaim the costs invested into the geological exploration or to reclaim any loss of profit declared by LE as "several hundreds million euro" for a reported "wasted investment".
- We have also available a public statement made by the director of LE Boris Bartalský for TASR (The News Agency of the Slovak Republic) about business risks of companies carrying out geological exploration (quot.): "In case they are not successful nobody will refund them their financial costs." This statement, too, proves that current threats of LE are only their intimidation strategy.
Disagreement of the affected municipal communities and citizens with the continuation of the exploration has decreased both the legal and the moral position of LE. It is commendable that after some initial hesitation the municipalities have taken advantage of the competence given to them by the geological law and on the Ministry's request have adopted their part of responsibility for termination of the exploration. For you they have thus created the most convenient opportunity to insist on cancellation of the geological exploration and to confirm your position of an opponent of uranium mining that you have so vehemently declared at the meeting of the Košice City Council on 15 April 2013. If, despite all this, you will let LE finish the geological exploration, deliver the corresponding final report and submit a new application for establishing a mining area, the legal analysis mentioned above may become inapplicable and a legal advantage for allowing uranium mining at Jahodná or eventually for reclaiming a financial compensation will be given to the other party!
Among recent events documenting the fact that the municipal communities with their opposition to the uranium mining will not shrink back is also the rejection of the minister of economy's Memorandum - by a resolution of the Košice City Council approved on 16 December 2013 the city representatives have refused to comply with the Memorandum of understanding and collaboration between the Ministry of economy and European Uranium Resources (the parent company of LE). It is a signal for both the ministry of environment and the ministry of economy that continuation of the geological exploration would cause competence and legal conflicts.
Our first open letter to you (dated 27 August 2013), in which we have quoted your public statement "I will do all that is possible to prevent uranium mining at Jahodná" is still valid: https://uranium-kosice.webnode.
On behalf of the citizens refusing uranium mining and processing in Košice
SZOPK (Slovak association for preservation of nature and countryside) - Košice 2013 unit
JUDr. Mgr. Ladislav Rovinský - chairman
Ing. Martin Ondera, PhD.
Ing. Karol Labaš
In Košice, on 1 January 2014
1. Decision of the District mining office in Košice dated 10 Jan 2008
2. Listing of the Slovak Business Register: Kremnica Gold 2005
3. Listing of the Slovak Business Register: Ludovika Energy 2013
1. Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic for agriculture and environment
Information for media:
More information about activities in the campaign against uranium mining and processing in Košice can be found athttps://uranium-kosice.webnode.
SLOVAK VERSION HERE