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Latest major spills and excursions reported from mines exploited by the in situ leach process


Crow Butte, Nebraska:
June 1, 2018: Monitor well excursion
Sep. 12, 2017: 27,287 gallon spill of injection solution
Aug. 29, 2017: Monitor well excursion
July 27, 2017: Production well fails 5-year mechanical integrity test
Mar. 14, 2017: Injection well fails 5-year mechanical integrity test
June 8, 2016: Evaporation Pond 1 liner leak
May 5, 2016: two Monitor well excursions
Apr. 21, 2016: Monitor well excursion
Apr. 20, 2016: Injection well fails 5-year mechanical integrity test

Ross, Wyoming:
Aug. 9, 2017: 4,316 gallon spill of injection fluid
July 27, 2017: 10,008 gallon spill of injection fluid
May 25, 2017: 800 gallon spill of injection fluid
Feb. 28, 2017: Samples taken from Pond 1 Monitor Well in exceedance of limits
Oct. 11, 2016: 1000 gallon spill of injection solution (1.46 mg/L U)
July 19, 2016: 1620 gallon spill of retention pond water (2 mg/L U)
June 1, 2016: 500 - 600 gallon spill of recovery solution (22.6 ppm U)
April 27, 2016: Pond monitor well indicates release from Pond 1
March 3, 2016: 1200 gallon spill of waste water (0.7 mg/L U)

Nichols Ranch, Wyoming:
Jun. 12, 2017: 4,500 gallon spill of injection fluid (< 1 mg/L U)
Dec. 7, 2016: 2,800 gallon spill of injection fluid (< 1 mg/L U)
Nov. 15, 2016: 55 gallon spill of production solution (27.4 mg/L U)
Aug. 11, 2016: 670 gallon spill of injection fluid

Lost Creek, Wyoming:
Apr. 5-7, 2018: bleed rate lower than 0.5% requirement
Oct. 9, 2017: monitor well on excursion
Sep. 5, 2017: 10,000 gallon spill of injection fluid (1.1 ppm U)
Aug. 19, 2017: 188,000 gallon [712 m3] spill of injection fluid (1.2 mg/L U)
May 22, 2017: 1,100 gallon spill of injection fluid (1.5 mg/L U)
Feb. 6, 2017: 3,360 gallon spill of injection fluid (0.5 ppm U)
Jan. 9, 2017: 3,654 gallon spill of injection fluid (1.3 ppm U)
Dec. 22, 2016: 582 gallon spill of injection fluid (1.5 ppm U)
Sep. 29, 2016: vertical excursion at monitor well
July 20, 2016: 13,650 gallon spill of production fluid (89.1 ppm U)

Smith Ranch, Wyoming:
Oct. 19, 2017: 533 gallon spill of restoration recovery fluid (4.2 ppm U)
Feb. 20, 2016: 4,264 gallon spill of production fluid (11.5 ppm U)

PRI Highland, Wyoming:
Mar. 16, 2014: 8,916 gallon spill of injection fluid (1 ppm U)

North Butte, Wyoming:
May 7, 2018: monitor well on excursion
Nov. 17, 2017: two monitor wells on excursion

Willow Creek (ex Christensen Ranch/Irigaray), Wyoming:
Aug. 9, 2017: 7,400 gallon spill of production fluid (8.9 ppm U)
Jul. 25, 2017: 5,000 gallon spill of injection fluid (1.1 ppm U) and production fluid (9.7 ppm U)
May 24, 2017: 3,600 gallon spill of injection fluid (0.41 - 0.81 ppm U)
Nov. 29, 2016: 3,300 gallon spill of injection fluid (0.67 ppm U)
Oct. 17, 2016: 3,500 gallon spill of injection fluid (0.5 ppm U)
Oct. 11, 2016: 1,405 gallon spill of injection fluid
June 1, 2016: Monitor well placed on excursion status
Apr. 30, 2016: Monitor well placed on excursion status

Muyunkum (Moinkum), Kazakhstan:
Nov. 25, 2011: spill of 240 cubic metres of production solution, after pipeline was severed by truck

Beverley, South Australia:
Feb. 28, 2012: spill of 30 - 34 cubic metres

Beverley North, South Australia:
Feb. 20, 2016: 8980 L barren injection solution spill

Honeymoon, South Australia:
July 10, 2012: fumes observed emanating from the dry hopper in the Drying and Packaging controlled area
Jan. 6, 2012: 30 cubic metre spill of injection solution (2 mg/L U3O8)


"It is a misunderstanding that uranium mining can cause radioactivity. It is not true because uranium gets radioactive only when it is enriched. Otherwise, uranium is just like any other soil as it has got no radiation"
(TP Sreenivasan, former Governor for India of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in The Shillong Times, Sep. 25, 2017)

"We extract ... uranium from the formation and send it to atomic reactors, so we are actually purifying the subsoil from heavy metals."
(Kazatomprom senior manager Kalilallo Baytasov on groundwater impacts of uranium in situ leaching in Kazakhstan, in: Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 28, 2013)

"Two thirds of the earth's surface is water... the rest we can process"
(Motto of MDM Engineering Group Limited , contractor to gold/uranium miners Gold One International Ltd and Gold Fields Ltd)

"Interviewed, URANEX Public Relation Officer Nyero Godwin denied the allegations, contending that the type of uranium that would be extracted was in “salt form”, insisting that no person would be affected."
(referring to health problems, in particular from dust, attributed to uranium exploration performed by Uranex NL in Bahi and Manyoni districts, in: The Guardian, Tanzania, Oct. 8, 2011)

"the deputy minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Adam Malima, said the mining activities would not have any impact on the people since the minerals would only be produced in their raw form"
(referring to uranium mining projects in Bahi and Manyoni districts in Tanzania, in: The Citizen, August 15, 2011)

"With regard to tailings, tailings are in fact a potential future resource so I think there's a considerable incentive to manage the tailings in a very good way with that in mind."
(Michael Angwin of the Australian Uranium Association referring to the uranium mill tailings from a proposed expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine, ABC Aug. 5, 2011)

"Another woman said Arizona Mine Inspector Joe Hart of Kingman told her the mining process would make the environment cleaner."
(Mohave Daily News, July 7, 2011, reporting on meeting of Mohave County Board of Supervisors, before it voted to support rather than ban uranium mining near the Grand Canyon)

"No, that's not radioactive, you can't say that. This is water that indeed contains radium, a certain number of products [...]"
(François Sublime, technical director of Areva's subsidiary COMUF responsible for reclamation of the Mounana uranium mine site, Gabon, referring to the water covering the uranium mill tailings dam; RFI May 28, 2011)

"Mining is a 24 hour operation and cannot be stopped as a result of a shortage of available dust masks"
(Johan De Bruin, geology superintendent of Paladin's Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi, Nyasa Times Sep. 25, 2010)

"at the mine we focus on production matters"
(Mr. Werner Duvenhage, Managing Director Langer Heinrich, Paladin Energy Africa, September 2010, in an email communication with WISE Amsterdam, denying request for information and site visit)

"This is like a water clean up project, and we are going to sell the by-product on"
(Powertech project manager Mark Hollenbeck on the Dewey-Burdock in situ leach uranium mining project, South Dakota Public Broadcasting Apr. 5, 2010)

"We're taking the uranium out of the ground, we're exporting it to be used for productive purposes, so we should be getting a medal for cleaning up the environment."
(Neville Huxham, Malawi country director for Paladin Energy Africa, operator of the Kayelekera uranium mine, IPS Aug. 24, 2009)


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