Third Episode of the Series “Look Around You” – Rgotsko Lake

The documentary series “Look Around You” in its third episode explores how two abandoned quartz sand mining pits in the village of Rgotina near Zaječar have become beautiful lakes with turquoise, completely clear water.

Mining at this site was halted in 1978 when there was a sudden influx of groundwater into the mining pits. Since then, the larger Rgotsko Lake has become a popular excursion and swimming spot for people from Zaječar, Bor, Negotin, and other areas.

The exceptional water quality, confirmed by biochemical analyses, has contributed to the flourishing of diverse lake flora and fauna, turning the former mining pit into a kind of natural oasis. We were introduced to the rich underwater world of Rgotsko Lake by underwater cameraman and diving instructor Miodrag Lakić.

However, things are not always as they seem at first glance, as Rgotsko Lake is still officially classified as an active quartz sand mining pit, even though mining was discontinued half a century ago. The reason lies in the fact that the official closure of the mine, according to the Law on Mining and Geological Exploration, entails land reclamation and rehabilitation, which in this case is an exceptionally complex and costly process. The former mine owner, “Srbokvarc,” avoided this obligation for decades, and the same practice was continued by the German company “Jugokaolin,” which privatized the mine almost twenty years ago.

The emergence of landslides around the lake indicates that this problem cannot be postponed indefinitely, and experts warn that in the event of extreme rainfall or earthquakes, there could be a collapse of the edges of the former mining pit and overflow of the larger lake into the smaller one, which could have unforeseeable consequences…

You can watch the third episode of the series “Look Around You” below.

This documentary episode was produced within the project “Environmental response to mining expansion in Timočka Krajina” funded by the European Union, and implemented by the Association “Za Drinking Fountains”, the Association of Young Researchers Bor, Civic Library “Europe” Bor and Children’s Center Zaječar. The content of the documentary episode is entirely responsibility of these associations and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Source: EU u Srbiji