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SKOPJE (Macedonia), November 16 (SeeNews) – The Macedonian government is ready to offer help in the relocation of an idled lead and zinc smelter in Veles where plans to restart production have raised pollution concerns among the locals, news agency MIA reported, quoting Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
Local media reported recently that the owner of the facility, Skopje-registered Metrudhem, plans to invest $150 million (111 million euro) in the restart of production within the next few years while taking care to meet the relevant environmental standards.
Investors should consider moving the smelter to a location from where it would pose no health risk for the Veles’ population, state-run MIA (www.mia.com.mk) reported, quoting a government press release.
The government said it supports the opening of new factories and jobs, but public health and the environment should be seen as a priority.
Veles-based environmental associations recently held a series of protests against the restart of the lead and zinc smelter which has been idled since 2004.