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Issues at Operating Uranium Mines and Mills - Other Countries

(last updated 7 Aug 2014)

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CANADA

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USA

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SOUTH AMERICA


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Argentina   flag

General · San Rafael


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

> See also: National Reports for Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management external link (IAEA)

 

San Rafael (Mendoza)

> View deposit info
> See also extra Sierra Pintada Uranium District, Mendoza

Uranium mining in San Rafael is opposed by ¿Uranio? No Gracias external link.

 

Environmental Impact Study presented for Sierra Pintada uranium mine: A new environmental impact study that could be the initial step for the reopening of the San Rafael mining complex in Sierra Pintada, was presented this week at the occasion of a site visit requested by the federal judge in San Rafael, Eduardo Puigdéngolas. (Los Andes Apr. 24, 2014)

CNEA fined for negligence in avoiding discharges from the idle Sierra Pintada uranium mill site: The General Department of Irrigation, through its Water Police Division, fined the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) 300,000 pesos [US$ 43,800] for negligence. The penalty reflects the results of the analysis carried out by Irrigation in the alluvial channel (The Toscalito stream) flowing into the El Tigre creek, after crossing the industrial area of the Sierra Pintada Manufacturing Complex (in San Rafael), an area in which the uranium processing plant, heap leach piles, tanks, grinding and storage facilities are located.
The discharges from a waste water dam with high concentrations in uranium, radium and other highly dangerous substances, including pathogens, directly flow into the El Tigre creek and then into the río Diamante river.
Irrigation requires an "immediate priority intervention" on the waste water dam. (Los Andes Jan. 19, 2014)

CNEA denies plan to relocate Dioxitek UO2 plant (Córdoba) to Sierra Pintada
> View here

At the occasion of the Livestock Festival in Alvear, protests were held against the reopening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine. (Diario Uno May 12, 2012)

On March 23, 2012, a leak was detected in the HDPE liner of an evaporation pond at the Sierra Pintada uranium complex. (Los Andes May 3, 2012)

The Supreme Court of the Nation rejected a complaint filed by the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA): In order to be able to restart mining in the Sierra Pintada uranium complex, CNEA will first have to remedy the existing environmental liabilities. (Los Andes Dec. 17, 2010)

The Supreme Court of the Nation rejected an appeal filed by "Multisectorial of the South for a sustainable development" against the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA), the state-owned organism that owns the Sierra Pintada uranium complex. The appeal focused on the possible hazard of contamination of water resources by the uranium mine. (Los Andes June 12, 2010)

A report prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority external link (ARN) found that concentrations of natural uranium and radium in Río Diamante were below national and international guideline values during the monitoring period 1998-2007, despite the impacts of the inactive San Rafael uranium mine site. (Los Andes 4 Apr 2009)

The Federal Chamber of Appeals of the province of Mendoza ordered the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA) to abstain from reopening the San Rafael uranium mine (that is inactive since 1995), because it is potentially harmful for the environment. (Los Andes 19 Feb 2009)

CNEA expects to begin the works to repair the effluent ponds at the former Sierra Pintada uranium mine with an investment of $5 million early in December 2007. This is a prerequisite for future resumption of the mine operation. (Diario Uno Nov. 9, 2007)

At the request of a member of Multisectoral del Sur external link, a federal judge ordered that no works preparing production may be performed at the Sierra Pintada uranium mine. The judge summoned a hearing on June 26, 2007. (Diario San Rafael 20 June 2007)

The World Bank is interested in financing the restart of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine, provided that a solution is found for the reclamation of the former operations. (Los Andes June 6, 2007)

The wine producers of the San Rafael river basin fear that the reopening of a uranium mine in the Sierra Pintada area endangers the prestige that their wine has in the exporting market, mainly American and European. In an attempt to measure the real impact of the uranium, they summoned specialists of the National University of La Plata (UNLP) to analyze water, grape juice, and products of the region. (Diario Hoy April 1, 2007)

A powerful coalition of vineyards, organic farmers and local businesses is up in arms, warning residents that their water, air and soil are at risk of being poisoned and their livelihoods, export markets, tourist industry and health could be ruined.
The issue is so explosive that for now, there is no official talk of restarting the Sierra Pintada mine complex. A public hearing is scheduled for February 17, 2007, to discuss the National Atomic Energy Commission's (CNEA) plan to clean up uranium waste that has been left at the site since operations halted a decade ago. Opponents say the plan, presented to the provincial government a year ago, is flawed and merely "environmental window dressing". "We are urgently asking for a clean-up but based on a serious study, not a secondary-school report", said Raul Montenegro, a biologist with the 38-group coalition.
He said waters in the Tigre stream, which flows through the mine and into the Diamond River that supplies semi-arid San Rafael with drinking water, contain up to 75 micrograms of uranium per litre - which he said was more than twice the levels permitted in the US, Canada and Australia. The CNEA says the water is naturally high in uranium and independent studies have proved there is no contamination. (Financial Times Feb. 8, 2007)

On Dec. 1, 2006, Multisectorial del Sur held a demonstration in San Rafael against the reopening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine. (Diario San Rafael Dec. 4, 2006)

The public hearing scheduled on Nov. 2, 2006, for discussion of CNEA's Environmental Impact Study for the reclamation of the abandoned Sierra Pintada uranium mine was suspended upon receipt of a notification issued by the Fourth Civilian Court of San Rafael at the request of Multisectoral del Sur. (Diario Uno Nov. 2, 2006)

Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA) has opened an information centre at San Rafael to inform the public on the proposed reopening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine. (Diario Uno Oct. 29, 2006)

On October 16 - 20, 2006, a public hearing will be held on the reopening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine. Provided the Provincial Government issues a declaration of environmental impact, the reclamation of the environmental liabilites from former mining at the site could start by the end of the year. The reclamation work would take two years; CNEA has a total budget of $ 17 million for it. (Diario Uno Sep. 16, 2006)

At the occasion of the visit of Argentina's president Néstor Kirchner on August 29, 2006, Multisectorial del Sur held a march in San Rafael against the reopening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine. (Diario San Rafael Sep. 4, 2006)

Frightened by the possible contamination of the Diamante River and the environment, hundreds of inhabitants marched on June 2, 2006, through the downtown streets of San Rafael to demand that the Sierra Pintada uranium mine should not be reopened nor any other uranium mine should be permitted. (Diario Uno June 3, 2006)

CNEA has scheduled the beginning of the reclamation of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine for mid-2006. CNEA maintains, however, that the requested complete reclamation of the old workings is not possible, since most backfilling could only be done after the final closure of the mine. For the reclamation work, approval of the provincial government is required.
The mine could then be reopened in mid-2007. For resumption of mining, in addition, a new license has to obtained from the nuclear authority Autoridad Regulatoria Nuclear (ARN). (Los Andes March 22, 2006)

A march against the re-opening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine prior to cleanup of the environmental liabilities of former mining is held in San Rafael on Feb. 17, 2006. (Diario San Rafael Feb. 17, 2006)

The Federal Court of San Rafael has ordered the prohibition of all activities associated with the re-opening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine. The decision was taken at the request of Multisectorial para el Desarrollo Sustentable, an organization comprising about 40 local NGOs, and having repeatedly spoken out against the reopening of the mine before the environmental liabilities of nearly 20 years of uranium mining have not been cleaned up. (Diario San Rafael Apr. 4, 2005)

On March 17, 2005, Alberto Llach, president of the Chamber of Commerce of San Rafael, confirmed the position of the directory: "Before considering the reactivation of uranium mining, CNEA must reclaim the environmental liabilities in San Rafael and Malargüe". (Los Andes March 18, 2005)

On July 27, 2004, Argentina's atomic energy commission (CNEA) has handed over to Mendoza provincial authorities the environmental impact study (EIS) to revive the Sierra Pintada uranium mine, located in Mendoza's San Rafael district. CNEA wants Sierra Pintada, which has a capacity of 120t/y, to produce close to 2,500t of uranium over 20 years. The 1800-page document was prepared by the Technical University of Avellaneda.
Ongoing negotiations are aimed at resolving the question of environmental legacies resulting from previous operations at the mine. It is CNEA's responsibility to find a solution to these problems, which include uranium tailings.
Moreover, a committee from the province's lower house of parliament has been set up to look into the economic and social aspects of the project and has been given 90 days to report back. (BNamericas 29 Jul 2004, Ministerio de Economía Jul 2004)

Argentina's atomic energy commission CNEA is pushing ahead with administrative procedures to enable it to reopen the San Rafael uranium deposit in the Sierra Pintada area of southern Mendoza province, in the central-west region of the country. The CNEA will present an environmental impact study (EIS) for the project in coming days, Juan Fallet, the province's mining authority director told BNamericas. Preparations are going ahead despite protests by an NGO known as Fundación Nativa and some members of the San Rafael chamber of commerce who are opposed to the development. "There will probably be a public hearing to decide the next steps," Fallet said. (BNamericas Oct. 30, 2003)

The local Chamber of Commerce (Cámara de Comercio, Industria y Agropecuaria de San Rafael external link) joins the opposition against the reopening of the Sierra Pintada uranium mine, since the mine would have severe impacts on the regional economy. (Los Andes Aug. 25, 2003)

> See also: San Rafael: los vecinos ya le dicen no a la mina de uranio. external link (The neighbours already say no to the uranium mine) (FUNAM Aug. 26, 2003, in Spanish)

The Argentine National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) is preparing to restart mining operations at its Sierra Pintada uranium deposit in Mendoza province. The mine has been shut since 1997 and should be up and running by October 2003. (BNamericas 13 Feb 2003)


Brazil   flag

General · Caetité · Lagoa Real


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

> See also: National Reports for Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management external link (IAEA)

 

Lagoa Real / Caetité, Bahia

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Uranium produced at Caetité transported to France for conversion and enrichment

A load of 119 tonnes of uranium concentrate was shipped to France last week, where the material is enriched and then returned to INB's Resende Nuclear Fuel Factory. Although it owns the technology, INB's Resende enrichment plant is not yet able to meet all the demand of production. (INB May 15, 2014)

Miners' Union denounces two leaks at Caetité uranium mill

The Miners' Union Sindmineradores external link revealed today that the Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB) managed to hide an accident at TQ 1402, a big storage tank of the uranium concentrate production system, that lead to the release of radioactive liquid to the soil for more than one month. And, yesterday another leak was detected in the final product area of the mill. It's the same area that was partially closed by the Ministry of Labor and MTE in July 2011, due to irregularities identified at INB. (Sindmineradores Dec. 13, 2013)
INB confirmed the leaks on Dec. 17, 2013.

Guard falls into uranium pond at Lagoa Real / Caetité mine

On June 26, 2013, a guard fell into a pond holding uranium-containing waters. No health effects were observed. (INB July 5, 2013)

Caetité uranium mine obtains approval for underground mining

The Caetité uranium mine that so far has produced 3,370 t in an open pit mine, has now obtained approval by the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN) for underground mining. INB now awaits CNEN approval of the construction license for the underground operation with an annual capacity of 400 t of uranium ore concentrate. (INB Mar. 27, 2013)

Spill of uranium ore concentrate at Caetité uranium mill

On Oct. 18, 2012, around 100 kilograms of uranium ore concentrate spilled in the packaging area of the Caetité uranium mill. The concentrate was recovered and the area cleaned. (INB Oct. 24. 2012)

Uranium concentration in groundwater near Caetité uranium mine meets standard

Monitoring of the Caetité groundwater performed in 2011 showed that uranium concentrations are below the limit of 0.015 mg/L set by the National Environment Council (Conselho Nacional de Meio Ambiente external link - CONAMA). (INB March 30, 2012)

Caetité uranium mine to double production

Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB) plans to double the production in its Caetité mine to 800 tons within five years. The mineral that is extracted at the moment in Caetité has a uranium concentration of around 0.3%, while the potential reserves that are explored nearby could reach 0.6%. (Reuters Oct. 31, 2011)

Parliamentary commission discusses NGO report on impacts of uranium mining at Caetité

A report with denunciations of the population of Caetité (Bahia) on contamination of the water, lack of transparency and violation of the human rights with the extration of uranium in the city was launched this Thursday (Oct. 6), by the Brazilian Platform of Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Human Rights external link (Dhesca), an organization of the civil society, during a hearing of the Commission of Environment and Sustainable Development.
"The main complaints of the population relate to the question of the water. What we evidence is that the population does not have trustworth nor sufficient information to feel reassured in relation to its health", said Marijane Vieira Lisbon, responsible for the report. "There is a very high incidence of cancers in the region, particularly of leukemia, that is an illness strongly associated to radioactive exposure."
The president of the Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), Alfredo Trajan Filho, responsible for the mining of uranium in Caetité, contested the claim of the water of Caetité being contaminated. "This is a question that never existed. The water that is there is the same water that has been there for 400 million years", Alfredo said. "What people have to do: if it contains uranium, that it always has contained, above the public health standard, this well must be shut down and the water no longer be used." (Agência Câmara de Notícias Oct. 6, 2011)
> Download Relatório da Missão Caetité: Violações de Direitos Humanos no Cielo do Nuclear external link [Report of the Caetité Mission: Violations of Human Rights in the Nuclear Cycle], Dhesca Brasil, August 2011 (6MB PDF - in Portuguese)

Caetité uranium mill allowed to resume operation

On Sep. 14, 2011, the Ministry of Labor and Employment permitted the area of Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB) in Caetité in southwestern Bahia, responsible for packaging of uranium concentrate. (Bahia Notícias Sep. 15, 2011)

Spill at Caetité uranium mill

On May 2, 2010, a rupture of pipework at the Caetité uranium mill caused a spill of thousands of litres of uranium solution to the ground. INB suspended all activities in order to remove the contaminated soil. (IBAMA May 2, 2010)

IAEA inspection team identifies groundwater impacts at Caetité uranium mine

A new IAEA service for the promotion of best practices and safety in the uranium production cycle, the Uranium Production Site Appraisal Team external link (UPSAT), was first used to review the uranium production site of Caetité, State of Bahia, Brazil, in a two-week visit of the site that was completed on 5 February 2010. The Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB) had requested the IAEA to assemble a team to visit the uranium mining and milling plant at Caetité with the objective to receive an evaluation of its performance.
The international team of experts identified good practices within the production system and gave advise on areas for future improvements. Within the mining production area, some environmental impacts in ground water have been noted, probably in relation to above-ground disposal of mining residues and waste. These should be further studied to confirm that they are real and, if so, appropriate remedial actions implemented and appropriate adjustments made to the environmental monitoring programme (IAEA Feb. 9, 2010)

Wells near Caetité uranium mine closed for excess radiation levels

The Instituto de Gestão das Águas e Clima external link (INGÁ) has ordered the immediate suspension of water use from three water wells in Caetité that showed elevated levels radioactivity. Two of the wells are located on INB's premises and are used for industrial purposes, while the third well is used for potable water supply. INB maintains that the third well is located at a distance of 6 kilometres from the mine and could therefore not be impacted by the mine. (INGÁ Jan. 20, 2010; INB Jan. 22, 2010)

INB fined for not immediately reporting spill at Caetité uranium mill

On Nov. 19, 2009, Instituto Brasileiro de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Renovaveis external link (Ibama) fined INB Real 1 million [US$ 623,000] for not immediately reporting a spill of organic sovlvent containing uranium that occured on October 28, 2009, in the Caetité uranium mill. (IBAMA Nov. 20, 2009)

INB releases results of groundwater monitoring near Caetité uranium mill

On Dec. 10, 2008, Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB) released a report on the results of groundwater monitoring in the community of Juazeiro which is located at a distance of 7 km from the uranium mill (Unidade de Concentrado de Urânio, URA) processing the ore extracted from the Caetité uranium mine. The average uranium concentration in groundwater at Juazeiro during the survey period in the years 2000 - 2008 (covering the operational phase of the mill) was 3.07 micrograms per litre, with a maximum of 14.3 micrograms per litre. All values remained below the applicable standard (Resolução 396 do CONAMA) of 15 micrograms per litre.
The uranium concentration in the years 1900 - 1999 (before startup of the mill) was at a comparable level (average of 3.44 micrograms per litre, with a maximum of 14.2 micrograms per litre).
At the mill site, maximum uranium concentrations in groundwater came up to 1984 micrograms per litre (!).

> Download Informações sobre monitorações de águas na comunidade do Juazeiro external link (282kB PDF - in Portuguese)

INB plans to double production from Caetité uranium mine by 2011

At present, INB produces 400 tonnes a year of uranium at its Caetité mines in the northeastern Bahia state. In 2011, the INB plans to add 400 tonnes from Caetité's new Engenho pit, which should effectively double total production compared with now. (Reuters Dec. 10, 2007)

Parliamentary Commission finds serious deficiencies with control of Caetité uranium mine

On March 15, 2006, a working group of the House of Representatives' Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development released its report on nuclear control and safety. The report identifies serious deficiences with the control of the Caetité uranium mine, among others: > Comissão de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentável - CMADS external link (in Portuguese)
> Download Relatório do Grupo de Trabalho Fiscalização e Segurança Nuclear, março de 2006 external link (1.84M PDF - in Portuguese)

 

On January 17, 2002, INB exported the first shipment of uranium from Caetité. The first 500-kg shipment went to Belgium. (EFE/Gazeta Mercantil Jan. 17, 2002)

Authorisation to resume uranium operations at Lagoa Real mine was given to Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB) by the environmental control entity - Instituto Brasileiro de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Renovaveis (Ibama) - and Comissão Nacional de Energia Nuclear (CNEN). Production was halted 12 months ago due to a uranium leakage. In that period, lost production amounted to 400 tonnes U3O8 (339 tU). (WNA News Briefing 01.46, Nov. 14, 2001)

In October 2000, INB put the operations of the Lagoa Real / Caetité mine on hold, in response to the leak that occured in April 2000. (Gazeta Mercantil, Oct. 27, 2000)

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EUROPE


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Czech Republic   flag

General · Dolní Rožínka · Rožná


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

> View decommissioning issues

> See also: National Reports for Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management external link (IAEA)

 

International uranium mining training centre to open in Czech Republic

A new international nuclear training centre where experts can learn about the methods of uranium mining will be opened in Stráž pod Ralskem by the Diamo state enterprise with support of the World Nuclear University external link in London. The first four-week course in the nuclear centre will take place in September and October 2006. "We expect some 15 experts from China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Kazakhstan as well as other countries to apply for the course," said Ján Slezák, preparing the training centre. (Prague Daily Monitor May 17, 2006; Mladá fronta DNES May 16, 2006)

 

Rožná mine / Dolní Rožínka mill

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> View decommissioning issues

Closure of Rožná uranium mine now foreseen for 2017

The year 2017 currently is the most likely year, until when the Rožná uranium mine in Dolní Rožínka will be operating, said Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Czech Republic Jan Mládek during yesterday's visit to DIAMO's GEAM branch.
Exploratory work for a giant underground natural gas storage at the site will be completed by the end of this year. The management hopes to sign until then a contract with an investor for the cavern. This would mean employemnt for the miners for the coming years. (Deník Aug. 6, 2014)
> See also: decommissioning issues

Workers' excessive radiation doses at Rožná underground uranium mine increasing even further

At Diamo's Rožná underground uranium mine, the average annual effective dose (8.2 mSv), the maximum annual effective dose (35.6 mSv !), and the collective effective dose (3630 mSv) showed an increase in 2013 over 2012.
"The relatively high effective doses imply the need to continue to perform consistently regulation of individual radiation workers in the underground mine." (Noviny Diamo April 2014)

Workers receive excessive radiation dose at Rožná underground uranium mine

At Diamo's Rožná underground uranium mine, 16 out of 442 underground workers were exposed to an effective dose greater than 20 mSv in 2012 (vs. 12 in 2011). In addition, the average annual effective dose (7.9 mSv), and the maximum annual effective dose (26.9 mSv) showed an increase over 2011.
"These values continue to affirm the need to carry out a thorough control of radiation workers." (Noviny Diamo April 2013)

Czech government approves continuation of uranium mining at Rožná

The Czech government today approved the continuation of uranium mining at Rožná. "The government has approved the continuation of mining, provided that it is not necessary to expend funds from the state budget," Prime Minister Petr Nečas said. According to recent information from the mining company Diamo, the resources would be sufficient for another five years of operation. Last year, the Dolní Rožínka mill produced 224 tonnes of uranium. (ČTK July 19, 2012)

Environmentalists oppose continuation of uranium mining at Rožná

Environmentalists reject further extraction of uranium at the Rožná mine in the Highlands, the last of its kind in Central Europe. According to recent surveys, there would be benefit for at least another five years. Ecologists do not like that the mined ore is of lower quality: the tailings pond will be filled faster because of the increased arisings of radioactive waste. "Because of the environmental impacts, mining is essentially in the red," says Edvard Sequens of Association Calla external link, demanding that at least further surveys should be stopped. (Český rozhlas Mar. 6, 2012)

More uranium discovered at Dolní Rožínka

New deposits of uranium worth three billion Czech Crowns [US$ 152 million] have been discovered in Dolní Rožínka. The uranium would be sufficient to continue mining for the next five years. (Hospodářské noviny Jan. 20, 2012)

Annual dose estimates for Rožná underground uranium miners still based on communist era-style method

As there apparently is no continous individual dose monitoring for the workers in the Rožná underground uranium mine, a study estimated doses based on occasional measurements of the mining aerosol - a method that has been abandoned by major miners decades ago for its inherent inaccuracies.
"In conditions at mine Rožná in 2000 - 2009, mean annual effective doses are 1.9 mSv from long-lived radionuclides, 4.1 mSv from radon and its progeny, and 2.2 mSv from external gamma radiation."
The combined dose from these three sources thus adds up to a comparatively high 8.2 mSv per year, the half of which is from radon and its progeny.

Estimates of Effective Doses Among Czech Uranium Miners, by L. Tomášek, J. Hůlka, P. Rulik, et. al., in: B. Merkel, M. Schipek (Eds.): The New Uranium Mining Boom, Challenge and lessons learned, Berlin Heidelberg 2011, p. 51-55

Miner dies in rockfall accident at Rožná uranium mine

A Slovak miner, 50, was fatally injured in the uranium mine in Rožná during tunnelling work early. The Slovak miner, shift head, was hit with rock that got loose all of a sudden when the ceiling was being torn off. (ČTK Dec. 18, 2009)

Less uranium than expected left in Rožná uranium mine

Less uranium than expected was found at the deeper levels of the Rožná uranium mine. Mining would therefore have to decline after 2012. (Právo Sep. 10, 2009)

Uranium mining at Rožná to be extended further to 2015

Exploration showed the only operating Czech uranium mine Dolní Rožínka could operate until about 2015, three years longer than expected. (Reuters Oct. 17, 2008)

Czech cabinet approves continuation of uranium mining at Rožná mine

In view of the rising uranium market prices, the Czech cabinet has approved the continuation of uranium mining at the Rožinká mine for as long as it will be profitable. According to the latest estimates, mining could be profitable until 2012, and at the current market prices could generate a profit of Kč 2 billion [EUR 71 million]. (Prague Daily Monitor/ČTK 24 May 2007)

Czech Republic rejects Uran Ltd offer to buy stake in Rožná uranium mine, investigates further extension of mine life beyond 2008

The Czech Republic turned down an offer by Uran Ltd., an Australian uranium explorer, to purchase a stake at the Rožná uranium mine. Czech Industry Minister Martin Říman said the company's involvement is not needed because the rising price of uranium means Diamo can make the necessary investments without a partner.
Říman said he asked Diamo to prepare a document for the government on a possible continuation of mining and on exploration of new deposits. He said a detailed exploration of deposits located below the existing mine would cost 250 million koruna (US$ 11.66 million). "The final decision on whether to continue in further mining and exploration will be left to the government," he said in the press release. (Bloomberg Feb. 22, 2007)

Uran Ltd submits proposal for acquisition of interest in Rožná uranium mine

Following its recent announcement regarding discussions to acquire an interest in the Rožná underground uranium mine in the Czech Republic, Uran Limited external link advised on Feb. 19, 2007, that it has submitted a proposal to DIAMO, the state enterprise responsible for mining at Rožná.

Uranium mining in Rožná might once more be extended

Uranium mining in Rožná could continue even after 2008, Czech Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek said during a visit to the Geam plant. Chances are great that the EU's last uranium mine will remain in operation. The proposal for continued uranium mining made by the Industry and Trade Ministry will be dealt with by the cabinet in autumn 2005. "We shall see how far we shall extend it because the deposits are there and they are plentiful," said Paroubek adding that the growth in world prices of uranium is a factor in favour of the continued operation. World prices of uranium are one third higher than the mining costs, said Paroubek.
The costs for the repair of the environmental damages are estimated at CZK 6 billion [US$ 255 million]. (Prague Daily Monitor Sep. 9, 2005)

Rožná uranium mine to be shut down by 2005

Roman Makarius, chairman of the Czech Mining Office, announced the end of the operations at the country's last active uranium mine at Rožná in 2005. (Prague Post Nov. 6, 2003)

Czech government approves further 2-year extension of Rožná uranium mine operation

On June 26, 2002, the Czech government approved a further 2-year extension of uranium mining at the country's last active uranium mine of Rožná until January 2006. The decision was criticized by Environment Minister Miloš Kužvart. (ČTK June 26, 2002)

Czech Government approves 2-year extension of uranium mining at Rožná

On November 8, 2000, the Czech Government approved the extension of the uranium mining at the Rožná mine in West Moravia until end 2003 rather than end 2001. (ČTK 8 Nov. 2000)

New effort to continue uranium mining operations

The Czech uranium mining company Diamo has started a new effort to get government approval for the continuation of its uranium mining operations at the Rožná mine for another two years after the scheduled closure in 2001. Diamo now wants to mine out readily available reserves, rather than expand its operations as proposed previously. (Hospodárske Noviny, 3 Sep 1999)

Uranium mining will not be continued after 2001

On July 21, 1999, the government of the Czech Republic reaffirmed that all uranium mining in the country will end in 2001. During the last months, Industry and Trade Minister Grégr had campaigned for the continuation of uranium mining for about four more years, to fulfill the needs of the domestic nuclear power plants. This would have included the reopening of the already shut down Hamr underground mine. Production costs would have been above world market prices, however.

Uranium mining suspended

A lack of finances at state uranium mining company Diamo forced it to suspend underground work at its Hamr and Rožná mines for two months, sending almost 400 employees home with 60% pay. (Prague Business Journal, March 3, 1999)
Uranium mining company Diamo began negotiating with unions to extend its current production suspension by another two months. (Prague Business Journal, April 21, 1999)

Plan to continue uranium mining

The Industry and Trade Ministry plans to propose to the government to delay the planned closure of the Rožinká uranium mine from 2001 to 2005. State mining company Diamo, which submitted an analysis of renewed uranium mining to the ministry, now plans to reopen a mine in Brzkov-Veznice. (Prague Business Journal, Feb. 18, 1999)


Romania   flag

General · Crucea · Feldioara


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

> View deposit infos

> See also: National Reports for Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management external link (IAEA)

 

Romanian government approves uranium subsidies for 2010

The government offers in 2010 subsidies of 29.5 million lei [EUR 7.1 million] to the National Company of Uranium Bucharest for the production of 45 tons of uranium octoxide. The company will receive another 2.8 million lei [EUR 0.67 million] for expenditure with meals, protection equipment and personnel transport. (ACT Media Apr. 29, 2010)

New government subsidies for Romania's uranium mining company

The National Company of Uranium (CNU), the only producer of uranium in Romania, planned for this year investment of 25.7 million lei (Euro 6.2 million). Investments will be ensured from budgetary sources (18.9 million lei) and own sources (6.8 million lei). "The investment programmed to be made in 2010 are for environment protection, in exploitation, for acquisition of independent machinery and technological equipment, as well as for feasibility studies for the construction of a works of preparation-refinery, as well as the exploitation of a new ore", the representatives of the company said. CNU which belongs to the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment external link has 1,800 employees. (ACT Media Feb. 11, 2010)

Romania's uranium deposits sufficient to meet domestic demand for 10 years

The uranium production in Romania decreased constantly over the last decade, as several plants became unprofitable or ran out of ore and shut down. While Romania's energetic strategy for 2007-2020 mentions that the remaining uranium ores will support the functioning of two nuclear-electric units at Cernavoda for eight years, Nuclearelectrica external link officials declared that the reserve will hold for ten years. (Realitatea Apr. 16, 2009)

Government subsidies for Romanian uranium mines lowered

According to the Ministry of Economics, the state subsidies for the Romanian national uranium mining company (CNU) have been reduced by 14.3%. On average, the subsidies for all mining companies have been lowered by approx. 28%. (Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Rumänien, Nov. 2, 2004)

Spill at uranium mine in western Romania

Several tons of waste sludge contaminated with uranium poured from a mining operation in western Romania into nearby streams and then the Fekete Körös River in eastern Hungary. (Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2000)

 

Crucea mine (Suceava, East Carpathians)

> View deposit info

Miner injured in rockfall accident at Crucea uranium mine

On Feb. 5, 2013, a miner, aged 53, was involved in an accident at the Crucea-Botuşana mine. The miner was surprised by falling rocks, which hit him. He was admitted to a hospital and is out of danger. (CNU Feb. 7, 2013)

 

Feldioara mill (Braşov)

Uzina R uranium mill, Feldioara

> View plant info

Uzina TG uranium mill project, Feldioara

CNU plans to build a new uranium mill "Uzina TG" with a capacity of 80,000 to 120,000 tonnes of uranium ore per year. The plant will be located in Feldioara (Braşov) next to the existing plant "Uzina R", which it will replace.
Comments on the EIA are invited by October 1, 2013.
> Download Public Announcement, Sep. 12, 2013 and EIA Summary external link (CNU - in Romanian)

 


Ukraine   flag

General · Ingul'skii mine · Zheltiye Vody mill


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

Ukraine suspends uranium exports

Ukraine suspended uranium exports in December 2006 after failing to fill up its national reserve to the required 2,400 tons, Mykyta Konstantynov, first vice president for economic policy and corporate development at Enerhoatom, a nuclear energy generating company, said in an interview published in the May 14, 2007, issue of Kiev-based Business weekly. He noted that export restrictions would not apply to uranium purchased by Enerhoatom from VostGOK (Vostochnyy Mining Enrichment Plant) and supplied to Westinghouse (US) under a nuclear fuel qualification project with the American company. (New Europe News May 19, 2007)

Ukraine could export natural uranium

> View details

 

Ingul'skii mine

> View deposit info

A heap leaching scheme is under preparation at the Ingul'skaya mine.
(Licensing experience of heap and stope (block) leaching of uranium ore in Ukraine, by Riazantsev Viktor, IAEA Technical Meeting on Low Grade Uranium Ore, 29 - 31 March 2010)

 

Zheltiye Vody mill, Dnipropetrovsk region

> View mill info
> View decommissioning issues

Ukraine plans reconstruction of Zhovti Vody uranium mill

The reconstruction of a hydrometallurgical plant (Zhovti Vody, Dnipropetrovsk region) is estimated at UAH 400 million [US$ 49.5 million], Director General of Skhidny ore mining and processing enterprise, Oleksandr Sorokin, has said. He said that currently the processing capacity of the hydrometallurgical plant is twice more than the volumes of raw materials supplied to the plant. "We'll slightly reconstruct the Zhovti Vody plant and load it in full," the director said. (Interfax Jul. 8, 2011)
> See also: No uranium mill planned for Novokonstantinovskoye mine

State Nuclear Regulation Committee assesses technical conditions of Zheltiye Vody uranium mill tailings ponds as satisfactory

> View here


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INTERNATIONAL   flag

Abolition 2000 network calls for global ban on uranium mining

At the Abolition 2000 (Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons) Annual General Meeting held in Edinburgh on April 17-18, 2013, participants adopted a call for a global ban on uranium mining.
"[...] we call upon all governments, local and national, to permanently ban uranium mining within their territories and to ban both the import and export of uranium. Without uranium, nuclear reactors cannot operate; without uranium, plutonium cannot be produced; without uranium or plutonium, nuclear weapons production is not possible. Cutting off the supply of uranium will reveal the contradictions inherent in the entire nuclear chain. It will eventually reduce the availability of fissile materials which can be fashioned into weapons of mass destruction. [...]"
> View Abolition 2000 release Apr. 20, 2013 external link

 

World uranium resources not sufficient to supply a "nuclear renaissance", study

Known uranium resources will be sufficient to supply current reactors for 10 - 20 years, possibly 40 years. In unfavourable circumstances, however, in particular in case of massive construction of new nuclear power plants, supply gaps may arise in 20 years already, according to a study presented at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, on March 13, 2013.
> View Evaluation einer Hypothetischen "NUklearen Renaissance" external link (EHNUR) (in German)
> Download Fossil and Nuclear Fuels - the Supply Outlook external link, Energy Watch Group, March 2013 (7MB PDF)
(uranium: p. 117-130 and p. 171-173)

 

Deutsche Bank's ailing Uranium Exploration Index Certificate among winners of award for most dangerous financial products

Deutsche Bank's DWS Go Uranium Exploration Index Certificate won the third place in the category "Products that harm the environment, the global poor and or third parties" of a competition to find the most harmful and dangerous financial product external link traded on the markets.
The competition was launched by Member of European Parliament Sven Giegold external link. Proposals were collected, from which a jury selected eight nominees. The winners were determined in an online vote and were announced on March 15, 2013.
The index certificate, however, has evolved to be not only dangerous for the reasons it was awarded for, but also for hopeful investors who acquired it: the DWS Go Uranium Exploration Index Certificate external link was launched on April 30, 2007, at an initial index level of 100, comprising approx. 50% uranium producers and 50% uranium exploration companies. The index thus was set up in the middle of the unprecedented 2007 uranium price rally and since has traded almost exclusively below its initial index level (view chart external link). The index value has currently fallen to 13.95, and the index now exclusively contains uranium producers and an investment holding company. The index thus nicely reflects the current depression of the uranium market and that investors see no way to earn any money soon with investments into pure uranium exploration companies (so-called 'junior miners').

 

German banks still financing uranium mining projects, in spite of promises

After the Fukushima disaster, several major German banks had announced no longer to finance nuclear facilities. However, a review commissioned by German NGO urgewald shows otherwise: between March 2011 and January 2013, Deutsche Bank provided financing to uranium miners Areva and Rio Tinto, while UniCredit/HBV provided financing for Areva and BHP Billiton.
> Download: Was haben deutsche Banken aus Fukushima gelernt? external link urgewald, März 2013

 

UxC cuts 2020 nuclear expectations by 10% after Fukushima accident

Roswell-based Ux Consulting said on Monday (May 9) it expects there to be about a 10% reduction in nuclear generating capacity globally by 2020 as a result of the Japanese nuclear disaster in March. Ux said it had revised its expectations downward by 43 GW of global nuclear power-generating capacity to 490 GW, with 545 operational reactors by that time. (Mining Weekly May 9, 2011)

 

Cameco expects 8% reduction in global uranium consumption in 2011 as a result of Fukushima accident

"We expect events in Japan will result in an 8% reduction in global uranium consumption in 2011 from our previous estimate of 195 million pounds [75,000 t U]. The decrease is primarily driven by the shutdown of six units at Fukushima and Germany's decision to temporarily shut down seven of its oldest reactors and to place a three-month moratorium on the previously announced life extension of its reactor fleet." (Cameco May 6, 2011)
[This would result in a demand of 69,000 t U in 2011. According to World Nuclear Association, world uranium demand was 68,800 t U in 2010.]

 

Bauxite and uranium are the two minerals most affected by fraud and corruption

"The recovery in metal prices has encouraged mining and metals companies to reactivate capital projects and exploration activities. This increased level of activity is being undertaken with slimmed down control environments by virtue of the cost reductions of the recent global financial crisis. These circumstances provide greater fraud risk. Often in the quest for expanded production and higher returns, these projects are being conducted in countries more prone to corruption, and hence provide a greater corruption risk."
> Download report Fraud and corruption in mining and metals, Focus on business ethics, 2010 external link, Ernst & Young (692k PDF)

 

Russian companies expect drop in world uranium production after 2025, as a result of depletion of deposits

Russian uranium companies predict a drop in world uranium extraction after 2025 as a result of increasing nuclear reactor construction. "Uranium demands will be fulfilled in 2010-2020. A lag in production is expected after 2020, and after 2025 a decline in production is expected as a result of the decommissioning of mines when stocks are depleted," deputy head of Russian uranium company Atomredmetzoloto Aleksander Boytsov told the international Atomexpo-2010 forum on Wednesday (June 9).
Vladislav Korogodin from Russian atomic energy firm Rosatom said at the same forum that the number of global nuclear reactors will increase from 438 to 660 by 2030, possibly causing a fuel deficit. Boytsov said the leading international uranium companies Cameco and Areva expect a drop in production after 2024 as a result of the depletion of the major MacArthur River, Cigar Lake and Akuta mines. (RIA Novosti June 9, 2010)

 

Activists open "uranium mine" in front of Brussels head office of pro-nuclear Belgian party

On July 6, 2007, activists from Friends of the Earth constructed a "uranium mine" in front of the head offices of the Christian Democratic party (CD&V) on the Wetstraat in Brussels. The action coincided with the release of a report on the environmental and human rights impacts of the uranium mining that supplies the nuclear fuels for the Belgian nuclear power plants of Doel and Tihange.
> View details external link

 

2006 World uranium production decreased by 5%

In 2006, the world uranium production of 39,655 t U was 5% lower than in 2005 (41,702 t U).
> View WNA Uranium production figures external link
> See also Uranium Maps

 

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