The Navajo people’s struggle to prevent the re-entry of mining corporations has so far been successful. It is fair to assume that as long as valuable resources remain on Indigenous lands profit-hungry corporations will continue to circle like vultures.
Navajo Nation battles uranium corporations, nuclear industry Decades of dealing with environmental degradation, racism, Liberation, By Bethany Woody MAY 8, 2013 “……….In early 2013, uranium companies approached the Navajo Nation in hopes they will allow them to renew mining operations on their land. These companies claim that they have developed newer and safer methods for extracting uranium, after decades of environmental destruction and abuse led the Navajo Nation to officially ban their mining. Read more »
the grievances expressed by representatives of local populations in the mining zones and pastoral peoples as well as government representatives. Concerns relate to radioactive pollution, water resource depletion, work-related diseases for mine workers, and the appropriation of land and water resources, including legally enshrined common property regimes and pastoral territories, without required compensation.
It is widely acknowledged among government staff that the Nigerien government is not able to properly implement its environmental legislation and monitor the uranium mining industry.
Niger: Development Cooperation Must Support the Environmental Governance of Uranium Mining THE ISN BLOG, Rasmus K Larsen 2 May 2013 Niger’s new development strategy, the Economic and Social Development Plan, is also intended to guide international development cooperation. Environmental governance of uranium mining, the country’s by far largest single economic activity, appears hitherto to have constituted a ‘blind spot’ for environmentally oriented development cooperation. It is now time to remove the blinkers and include support to strengthen environmental governance of the mining sector in new programmes to assist Niger in meeting its development challenges
Niger is well known in international media as one of the world’s poorest countries, struggling with chronic structural hunger and malnutrition. UNDP ranks Niger 186 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index, and in 2011, five million people (33% of Niger’s population) were at ‘high risk’ to food insecurity.
What is less well known is that Niger also hosts the fourth largest uranium production in the world. Export values totalled over EUR 348 million in 2010, representing more than twice the total development assistance finance received during the same year. However, the state retains less than one fifth of the value of the uranium ore that is exported. The exploitation of the mineral wealth by international investors is expanding, with granted and requested mining concessions comprising close to 10% of the national territory…….
Attention to environmental impacts or risks associated with the mining sector goes seemingly without mention in the guiding documents of the principal development partners, including the EU, the World Bank, the UNDP, and the African Development Bank.
Severe environmental governance issues
This is in stark contrast to the grievances expressed by representatives of local populations in the mining zones and pastoral peoples as well as government representatives. Concerns relate to radioactive pollution, water resource depletion, work-related diseases for mine workers, and the appropriation of land and water resources, including legally enshrined common property regimes and pastoral territories, without required compensation.
It is widely acknowledged among government staff that the Nigerien government is not able to properly implement its environmental legislation and monitor the uranium mining industry. The Environmental Impact Assessment Bureau has only one person in place to verify all mining project applications in the country and, although legally required, not all verification missions are undertaken. The same applies to the National Centre for Radioprotection, which lacks the necessary capacity e.g. to undertake surprise inspections. The impacts and risks highlighted by civil society must be taken seriously. Due to deficiencies in the public administration, there are considerable constraints in enforcing and implementing the legislative and administrative framework – the very same framework, which development cooperation has helped to put in place……
Any mining activity will carry with it an environmental toll. The decision to sacrifice natural resources and human health, and ultimately lives of citizens, for economic gain will be the executive decision of the mandated political authority – in this case the Nigerien government……..
The Nigerien uranium mining sector is also intricately linked to the geopolitical energy security interests of some donor countries. The mines are operated by foreign companies (the French AREVA Group and Chinese investors). EU countries such as France, which has been involved in uranium mining since Niger gained independence, remain some of the largest buyers of the uranium ore – thus directly stimulating the mining activities and their detrimental impacts. This raises the question how donor countries could better supervise the behaviour of corporations incorporated within their own territories, thus implementing the recent UN guidelines for the supervision of multinational corporations (in “Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights”). Indeed, when transparent and comprehensive problem identification is missing as the basis for donor support, then it opens for speculation that the ignorance of mining-related environmental issues and the crisis discourse on desertification and food insecurity are mobilized as instruments to divert attention from geopolitical interests in the country’s mineral wealth.
With its new development strategy, the Nigerien government emphasises the urgency of increasing mining fees and extraction tariffs to raise the state revenue and strengthen oversight with mining corporations. Importantly, specific attention is also directed at the need to improve the coordination between the mining and environmental sectors and their limited human and institutional capacities. This should be interpreted as an invitation from the Nigerien government to its development partners to proactively support enforcement of the existing environmental regulations of the mining sector……
Hopefully, the concerns expressed by people experiencing the impacts of the uranium mining industry first hand will be included in the list of priorities for the on-going negotiation between the Nigerien government and its development partners, among them the European Commission and Danida, on how to spend the EUR 3.7 billions. http://isnblog.ethz.ch/isn-security-watch/niger-development-cooperation-must-support-the-environmental-governance-of-uranium-mining
Uranium mining cos. eye new Navajo Nation projects http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/21448485/uranium-mining-cos-eye-new-navajo-nation-projects SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) – Uranium mining companies are showing signs of renewed interest in the Navajo Nation.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that several companies during the past year have addressed the tribe, begging for permission to once again mine the uranium-rich land that the tribe sits upon.
But 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 say that history will not repeat itself, especially since they are using advanced technologies and take more precautions.
The tribe banned uranium mining on its land in 2005, though federal government has jurisdiction on Navajo Trust Land
Aboriginal elder spurns million dollar offer from uranium miners http://www.mining.com/aboriginal-elder-spurns-millions-of-dollars-from-uranium-miners-58963/Marc Howe | February 6, 2013 An elder from the Djok aboriginal community has hailed a move by the federal government to prevent the mining of uranium on his ancestral lands.
On Wednesday the federal government introduced a bill to incorporate 1228 hectares of the Koongarra, the traditional land of the Djok people, into the Kakadu National Park, thus preventing efforts by uranium mines to develop the area’s resources.
Jeffrey Lee, an elder of the Djok people, welcomed the decision after fighting for over three decades to prevent uranium extraction in the area, as well as spurning million dollar offers from miners.
“I have said no to uranium mining at Koongarra because I believe that the land and my cultural beliefs are more important than mining and money,” said Mr. Lee.
A French company reportedly offered Mr. Lee $5 million to withdrawn his opposition to uranium development plans.
Although Koongarra lies within the Kakadu area, a ruling in 1979 prevented its inclusion in the park, in order to leave open the possibility of development of its uranium resources, estimated to stand at around 14,000 tonnes.
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke as well as Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke joined Mr. Lee to make the announcement as well as hail the government’s decision.
a detailed description of how nuclear authorities denied diagnosis for decades, “lost” medical records, when diagnosis of survivors was made 3 decades after the event, the event which caused the symptoms was not referenced and specifically in relation to recurrent local radiation injury to skin, which can become a chronic and cyclic event, outbreaks of symptoms recurring in cycles over decades. This is diagnosed in at least some cases, one specifically known to me, not as local radiation injury (beta burn) but as psoriasis.
It is an easy thing to deny diagnosis, as was done – affected people asked for diagnosis in 1953 and later and doctors in Australia REFUSED to give a diagnosis.
Now, in 2013, British authorities claim nothing can be proven to show it is liable for the suffering and death it visited by its actions and in concert with Australian authorities upon Aboriginal people
Aboriginal Truth Buried Under Atomic Fudge, Paul Langley’s Nuclear history Blog, 19 Jan 13 The refusal of British authorities to acknowledge that British nuclear weapon testing in Australia in the 1950s and related “minor trials” which continued into the 1960s (including some which contravened the spirit if not the bones of the LTBT) and the Operation Brumby “cleanup” which resulted in a worsened situation of contamination on Aboriginal land.
For many years a sign on the road from Maralinga to Oak Valley warned people to stay in their vehicles.
On this same land Aboriginal people hunted and hunt and gather.
A Vulcan bomber fired a loaded but disarmed nuclear missile over the Maralinga Range. The missile overshot its target, resulting in the missile disintegrating and spreading plutonium dust over a wide area off of the Range.
In the 1980s the Adelaide Advertiser reported on the discovery of plutonium in the Oak Valley school yard and buildings. The white teachers refused to work and returned to Adelaide. The people of Oak Valley had to continue to live there. Read more »
Uranium: encouraging signs and exploration in full swing. Exploration is currently being carried out by several companies with clear indications of deposits of uranium in Mali. Uranium potential is located in the Falea area which covers 150 km² of the Falea- North Guinea basin, a Neoproterozoic sedimentary basin marked by significant radiometric anomalies. Uranium potential in Falea is thought to be 5000 tonnes. The Kidal Project, in the north eastern part of Mali, with an area of 19,930 km2, the project covers a large crystalline geological province known as L’Adrar Des Iforas. Uranium potential in the Samit deposit, Gao region alone is thought to be 200 tonnes.
The War on Mali What You Should Know: An Eldorado of Uranium, Gold, Petroleum, Strategic Minerals SPY GhanaBy 4thmedia.org R. Teichman, News Beacon Ireland, 17 Jan 13
The French government has stated that: …… We have one goal. To ensure that when we leave, when we end our intervention, Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory.” 
So this is the official narrative of France and those who support it. And of course this is what is widely reported by the mainstrem media.
France is supported by other NATO members. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that the US was providing intelligence to French forces in Mali.  Canada, Belgium, Denmark and Germany have also publicly backed the French incursion, pledging logistical support in the crackdown on the rebels. 
If we are to believe this narrative we are misled again about the real reasons. A look at Mali’s natural resources reveals what this is really about. Read more »
Although Niger has been France’s primary uranium trading partner in the region, investors are currently estimating 5,200 tonnes of untapped uranium sources in Mali, making the requirements of a favourable government and a suppressed civil society all the more urgent.
The curbs on civil liberties in the West which the so-called War on Terror forces upon citizens is part of the same struggle that activists in West Africa are fighting against uranium mining corporations
Blood for Uranium: France’s Mali intervention has little to do with terrorism http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/blood-uranium-frances-mali-intervention-terrorism/ Adam Elliott-Cooper looks at the geo-strategic and economic interests shaping the current French intervention in Mali. 17 Jan 13, France opened 2013 with a series of airstrikes on Northern Mali to prevent “the establishment of a terrorist state”. At the time of writing, 11 civilians (including two children) have been killed, and according to the UN, an estimated 30,000 have been displaced. The morbid irony of the France’s leaders bombing people in order to prevent a “terrorist state” appears to be lost on them, but this may be due to their eyes being on something far more important – Mali’s economy. (Picture: Activists in Niger protesting uranium mining company AREVA) Read more »
the visionary realm of the Aborigines represents one of the great experiments in human thought
Studies of the human genome leave no doubt that the genetic endowment of humanity is a single continuum. Race is a fiction. We are all cut from the same genetic cloth, all descendants of a relatively small number of individuals who walked out of Africa some 60,000 years ago and then, on a journey that lasted 40,000 years, some 2,500 generations carried the human spirit to every corner of the habitable world.
It follows, as Boas believed, that all cultures share essentially the same mental acuity, the same raw genius. …..
The Victorian notion of the savage and the civilised, with European industrial society sitting proudly at the apex of a pyramid of advancement that widens at the base to the so-called primitives of the world, has been thoroughly discredited – indeed, scientifically ridiculed for the racial and colonial notion that it was, as relevant to our lives today as the belief of 19th-century clergymen that the Earth was but 6,000 years old….. Read more »
Why Idle No More matters, Montreal Gazette, The aboriginal protest
movement fits into a pattern that suggests we are entering a new era
of collective action
By Celine Cooper, Special to The Gazette December 30, 2012 MONTREAL —
In a teepee on Victoria Island in the Ottawa River just a stone’s
throw from Parliament Hill, Attawapiskat First Nations Chief Theresa
Spence is engaging in a hunger strike. Her actions have come to
represent the growing social movement known as Idle No More.
Set into motion and founded by four women from Saskatchewan — Sheelah
McLean, Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon — Idle No More
(#idlenomore on Twitter) has gained momentum as an indigenous-led
protest against the mammoth omnibus Bill C-45 tabled by the federal
Conservative government this month. Critics of the bill have taken
particular issue with its amendments to the Indian Act and the
Navigable Waters Act, arguing that it disrespects treaty rights and
aboriginal sovereignty and erodes protection of the environment. Read more »
Nuclear dangers real and widespread
BY HELEN CALDICOTT, THE STARPHOENIX NOVEMBER 9, 2012
Caldicott is founding president of Physicians for Social
Responsibility and was featured in the Oscar winning film, If You Love
I write to reply to the allegations made about me in John Gormley’s
column, More private liquor stores, less Caldicott (SP, Nov. 2).
First, it is important for me to stress that the aboriginal people in
Northern Saskatchewan are being exploited by the uranium and nuclear
power industry, as they have routinely been in the United States and
People who have lived benignly with nature for tens of thousands of
years have been forced to allow mining companies to extract uranium
from beneath their feet and to work in the mines.
Ample evidence abounds in the scientific literature that one-fifth to
one-half of uranium miners in North America have suffered from lung
cancer. Furthermore, uranium miners are also exposed to carcinogenic
whole body gamma radiation as well as the ingestion of radium – the
element that induced leukemia in Madame Marie Curie.
Many indigenous people who live near uranium mines are also exposed to
radioactive elements, and newly elevated rates of cancer are now
reported in these populations. We don’t know exact numbers because the
Saskatchewan government has not performed a baseline health study on
the populations affected.
As if this ecological danger were not enough, the nuclear industry is
proposing to bury 37,000 tonnes of extremely toxic, high level
long-lasting radioactive waste from Canadian nuclear reactors among
this vulnerable group of people, which, it is claimed will give them
As the isotopes inevitably leak, they will contaminate the food chain
for evermore inducing more malignancies and genetic disease over
Tribe to get hearing on Prairie Island nuclear waste concerns
by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune December 26, 2012 -
A federal panel will consider some of the issues raised by the nuclear
plant’s neighbors. Xcel Energy Inc. faces more scrutiny from a federal
panel reviewing the utility’s requested 40-year extension of its
license to store high-level nuclear waste at its power plant in Red
The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, in a ruling released Friday,
said the Indian tribe living next to Xcel’s Prairie Island nuclear
power plant and waste-storage site has raised several contentions
about the license extension that warrant a hearing before the board’s
A core issue — whether the “temporary” cask storage is becoming
permanent — was set aside by the panel while its parent agency, the
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, studies the problem across the
nation. A federal appeals court in June struck down the commission’s
waste storage rules, forcing another look at the implications of
keeping radioactive waste at reactor sites for up to 60 years.
“We are dealing with regulations that were established 30 years ago
for what everybody thought would be 10 to 20 years of storage,” said
Phil Mahowald, general counsel for the Prairie Island Indian
What happens when government plans to build a nuclear plant in your
hometown? Lionel Faull went to the Eastern Cape to find out.The
process of rolling out a massive nuclear power expansion programme
gained momentum in November when the Cabinet endorsed electricity
utility Eskom as the owner and operator of the proposed new nuclear
power stations. But the plan still faces an uphill public battle, not
least from the people in whose back yard the first new nuclear
behemoth is going to be carved out.
The Mail & Guardian went to Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape, where Eskom
is finalising the environmental plan for its preferred site, to hear
what locals have to say about living next door to nukes……. Read more »
Uranium cleanup on Navajo Nation complicated by scope, history of problem 19, 2012 By MARYANN BATLLE Cronkite News WASHINGTON – For seven weeks this fall, workers and scientists labored from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days a week, digging up and hauling off thousands of cubic yards of uranium-tainted soil in Cove, Ariz., and sealing what remained.
The $1.5 million project by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was an emergency measure to clean up two former uranium transfer stations because of their proximity to a day school, a house – which sat on top of one station – and a highway on the Navajo Nation.
The goal was to remove the immediate threat of uranium contamination, stabilize the soil and keep uranium from becoming windborne.
It’s a stopgap measure on two tainted sites among at least 500 – possibly more than 2,000 – that pose a threat to people on the Navajo reservation that spans parts of Utah, New Mexico and Northern Arizona.
More than six decades after the first mines opened on Navajo lands, it is still unclear how many sites need to be cleaned up, how many people may be suffering from the effects of uranium exposure and what can be done to contain all the hazardous material in these communities – if that’s even possible.
What everyone can agree on is that overcoming the legacy of uranium mining will take a long, long time.
“They say it’s a widow community,” Eugene Esplain said of Cove, where this fall’s cleanup took place. “So many men have died from the impacts of uranium mining.”….. http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/12/uranium-cleanup-on-navajo-nation-complicated-by-scope-history-of-problem/
• 1940s: The mining and milling of uranium ore for U.S defense and energy begins on the Navajo Nation. Read more »
many concerned groups and individuals are now joining the Crees in urging the Quebec government to conduct an independent and comprehensive assessment of the long-term environmental, social and ethical challenges presented by the uranium industry
When the mining is done and the profits have been taken, these tailings will be left behind in my people’s backyard, where we have lived for thousands of years, and where we hunt, fish and trap, raise our children and bury our dead.
It is indisputable that these uranium tailings will remain radioactive and highly toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.
The Cree Nation will not be intimidated or silenced
Quebec should support Cree moratorium on uranium mining http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Opinion+Quebec+should+support+Cree+moratorium+uranium+mining/7695600/story.html By Matthew Coon Come, Montreal Gazette December 13, 2012 This summer, my people, the James Bay Cree Nation, enacted a permanent moratorium on uranium exploration, mining, milling and waste emplacement in our territory on the east shore of James Bay, Eeyou Istchee. I was
mandated to take all necessary steps to ensure full recognition of our stand. Read more »
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- safety and incidents
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina background info
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- rare earths
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual