Posts Tagged ‘uranium mining’

from HaulNo.org

Energy Fuels Inc. is planning to poison the Grand Canyon including the precious Colorado River. Are we going to let our future be poisoned for thousands of generations by this greedy corporation? We say, “Haul no!”

#HaulNo! is an awareness & action tour that is being planned for Spring 2017 throughout Northern Arizona and Southern Utah along the proposed uranium haul route from Energy Fuel’s Canyon Mine to its White Mesa Mill. Volunteers from organizations such as Diné No Nukes, Clean Up The Mines, Grand Canyon Trust, and concerned community members have joined forces to spread awareness and empower action to ensure that the Grand Canyon, sacred sites, precious water, and our communities are safeguarded from the deadly and toxic threat of uranium contamination.

Click here to read more…

no uraniumUranium-mining concerns seek Navajo Nation projects

SHIPROCK, N.M. – Uranium-mining companies are showing signs of renewed interest in the Navajo Nation.

The Daily Times of Farmington reported that several companies during the past year have addressed the tribe, seeking permission to once again mine the tribe’s uranium-rich land.

The history of uranium in the area, however, is proving an obstacle.

“As you can guess, there is opposition. There’s no doubt about that,” said Albuquerque’s Mat Leuras, vice president of corporate development for Uranium Resources Inc.

In addition, several environmental studies have suggested that elevated levels of uranium in and around the mines caused health problems for the people working in and living around them.

The Navajo Nation sits on more than 70 million tons of naturally occurring uranium, a radioactive ore.

Uranium mining companies maintain that history will not repeat itself, especially since they are using advanced technologies and take more precautions.

The tribe still is reeling from the nearly 30 years that the federal government allowed uranium mining on and around the Navajo Nation. Between the late 1940s and the mid-1980s, about four million tons of uranium were extracted from the Navajo Nation.

At the time, uranium was mined to produce nuclear weapons for World War II and the Cold War.

The ore was removed via conventional underground mining, a practice that allowed uranium to seep into the land and water in the surrounding area.

“The industry’s learned its lesson,” Leuras said.

While the companies will not be able to extract the uranium within tribal boundaries, they might be able to get at the uranium deposits near them.

The tribe banned uranium mining on its land in 2005, though federal government has jurisdiction on Navajo Trust Land and in the “checkerboard” of Indian and non-Indian land. The trust land is land generally saved for the tribe, and the checkerboard is intermixed federal, state and tribal ownership.

Many of the companies already have secured mineral rights in the checkerboard area.

Uranium companies such as Uranium Resources Inc., Strathmore Minerals Corp., Rio Grande Resources and Laramide Resources Ltd. all have investments around the reservation boundaries. In some instances, however, the companies do need access on the Navajo Nation just to get to their projects.

Also see:  Uranium miners lobby Navajo for renewed access in New Mexico

Uranium mill appeal is denied

DENVER – An environmental group has lost its request for the state to deny a license for a proposed uranium mill in southwestern Colorado.

The Denver Post reported that Colorado health department director Chris Urbina on Thursday denied the appeal by Sheep Mountain Alliance but said the group’s testimony will be considered as officials decide whether to grant Energy Fuels a radioactive materials license for the mill.

The health department originally issued a radioactive materials license in 2011 for the company’s proposed Piñon Ridge uranium and vanadium mill near Nucla, but after legal challenges, it was forced to hold full public hearings on the issue last year. Sheep Mountain Alliance wanted health officials to deny a license after the hearings.

A final decision about the license is expected in April.

A year ago, Energy Fuels bought the U.S. assets of its rival Denison Mines, which includes an operational uranium mill in Southeast Utah.

Canyon Mine Near Red Butte

From Indigenous Action Media:

Comment Deadline: January 14th

Denison Mines Corp., a Canadian corporation has submitted water and air quality permit applications to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in an attempt to operate uranium mines near the Grand Canyon.

Not only do these mines directly threaten the Ecoregion of the Grand Canyon, they further corporate attacks on community health, environment and sacred places.

These mines include the currently operating Arizona 1 Mine and the proposed Pinenut and EZ mines north of the Grand Canyon and the proposed Canyon Mine on the south rim near Red Butte, a site held holy by the Havasupai Nation.

The legacy of uranium mining in the region has been so harmful that the Dine’ (Navajo), Hualapai, and Havasupai Nations have all banned uranium mining and activity on their lands.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has documented well water as undrinkable in at least 22 communities on the Dine’ Nation. The EPA states that, “Approximately 30 percent of the Navajo population does not have access to a public drinking water system and may be using unregulated water sources with uranium contamination.”

The Colorado river which, flows through the Grand Canyon, supplies water for drinking and agricultural use for up to 27 million people.

Haul Routes

If all the permits are allowed, up to 12 trucks per day would haul uranium ore from each of the mines to a processing mill in Blanding, Utah.

The haul routes would take uranium ore from the various mines through the communities of Fredonia, Kanab, Williams, Flagstaff, Cameron, Tuba City, and Kayenta.

The ADEQ air quality permits and Department of Transportation regulations would merely require Denison to “cover the haul truck loads with a tarp and maintain the truck beds to ensure that ore does not fall out.” (ADEQ Denison Mines Permitting and Uranium Mining Facts, Questions & Answers November 2010)

Although environmental groups have successfully lobbied the US Secretary of Interior to suspend new uranium claims in a 5 mile buffer zone near the Grand Canyon, the suspension does not include pre-existing claims such as Denison’s.

Today there estimated to be more than 8,000 applications for uranium mining operations in the Grand Canyon region.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Deadline for public comments is January 14th at 5pm

Send your comments to Arizona Department Of Environmental Quality
Email: tb4@adeq.gov

For more info call toll free: 1800-234-5677

Printed materials including draft permits

Additional information and action:

Center for Biological Diversity’s info and online comment letter

Sierra Club’s info and online comment form

Uranium Mining Begins Near Grand Canyon

Info from the Grand Canyon Trust

Arizona Daily Sun Article: Uranium foes: Where’s the benefit?