ASX-listed Uranium miner, Paladin Energy has commenced protection and remediation procedures at its Kayelekera mine in northern Malawi, which has suffered some minor storm damage when a 20-minute, high-intensity storm resulted in some 25mm of rain falling at the site.
The resultant surge of stormwater caused the liner in the plant run-off tank to rupture, releasing up to 500m3 of material to the bunded areas of the site. Up to 0.05m3 (50 litres) may have overtopped one of the containment bunds due to the nature of the rainfall event at the time.
“Following discovery of the damaged tank, the company immediately commenced protection and remediation procedures and the site remains secure. A sampling programme to analyse water from within the local stream system was also initiated to confirm no contamination occurred. The company has formally advised relevant Government of Malawi authorities of the incident,” Paladin Energy said in a statement.
Response to Misleading NGO Statements
This follows media reports originating from Malawi implying that the Kayelekera mine has begun discharging waste materials from Kayelekera into the local river system, who Paladin Energy has now threatened with legal action.
“These reports are sourced from local non-government organisations (NGOs) and individuals openly hostile to the company and contain numerous blatant falsehoods and misleading statements, intended to cause alarm and distress in communities living in the vicinity of Kayelekera and the local river system,” Paladin Energy said.
Paladin plans to commence the controlled release of surplus water into the local river system in early 2015 (during the monsoonal wet season) and has modified a section of the treatment plant at Kayelekera to allow treatment to meet Malawi and internationally recognised discharge standards, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water guideline for uranium content. Therefore no water has been treated and released to-date.