there are currently 13 candidates up for election in November who want to sell or seize public lands for drilling, mining, or logging and seven senators not up for reelection, including four Arizonans: Sen. McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, and State Rep. Andy Tobin.
Federal Court: One Million Acres Near Grand Canyon Protected From Mining, Think Progress, BY ARI PHILLIPS OCTOBER 10, 2014 In early October, an Arizona federal judge upheld the Obama Administration’s 2012 withdrawal of over one million acres of federal lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park from uranium mining. Originally imposed by then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the mining industry challenged the ban arguing that the 700-page Environmental Impact Statement was inadequate, failed to address “scientific controversies”, and was unconstitutional.
and several sacred Native American sites. According to the government’s study, removing the ban would mean that 26 new uranium mines and 700 uranium exploration projects could be developed.
According Roger Clark, air quality and clean energy director at the Grand Canyon Trust, the ruling affirms conclusions by five federal agencies, including scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey — that uranium mining poses unacceptable risks to Grand Canyon’s water, wildlife, and people.
“Uranium mines threaten hundreds of the Grand Canyon seeps and springs that provide precious water to thousands of desert-dwelling species,” wroteClark. “Every new mine sacrifices cultural sites and fragments wildlife habitat, polluting the park with dirt roads, dust, heavy machinery, noise, off-road drilling rigs, power lines, and relentless truck traffic.”………
When Salazar first banned this block of 633,547 acres of public lands and 360,002 acres of National Forest land from mining in 2012, a number of politicians objected, including U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Mike Lee (R-UT). Sen. Hatch said mining the land “poses no environmental threat” and that the announcement was another sign that the Obama Administration “is one of the most anti-American energy presidencies in history.”
Fast-forward two years later and there are currently 13 candidates up for election in November who want to sell or seize public lands for drilling, mining, or logging and seven senators not up for reelection, including four Arizonans: Sen. McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, and State Rep. Andy Tobin.
The uranium mining companies have 60 days to appeal Judge Campbell’s decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and are likely to do so, according to the Center For Biological Diversity. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/10/3577414/arizona-grand-canyon-uranium-mining-withdrawal/
In January 2012, then-US interior secretary Ken Salazar issued the ban that prohibits new mining claims and mine development on existing claims without valid permits. A subsequent mining industry lawsuit asserted that the interior department’s 700-page study of environmental impacts was inadequate and the ban was unconstitutional.
A coalition of groups including native American tribes and the Sierra Club intervened in that lawsuit, and on Tuesday the court ruled in their favour.
Judge David G Campbell of the US district court for Arizona summarised his ruling dismissing all uranium mining industry claims by stating that the secretary of the interior had the authority to “err on the side of caution in protecting a national treasure – Grand Canyon national park.”
Critics of uranium mining say that it would threaten the aquifers and streams that feed the Colorado river and Grand Canyon by releasing toxic waste.
Martha Hahn, chief of science and resource management for the Grand Canyon, says that mines would leach contaminants into watersheds, seeps and springs in the canyon, mar the landscape and impact wildlife. The seeps that make rocks slick might not look life-sustaining, but one might “feed a critter that feeds another critter, so you see the effect pretty exponentially,” said Hahn.
- According to the government’s study, removing the ban would mean that 26 new uranium mines and 700 uranium exploration projects could be developed.The Grand Canyon attracts about 4m tourists a year. Uranium mining companies have 60 days to appeal the decision
OECD/IAEA Red Book The latest edition of the ‘Red Book’ − ‘Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand’ − has been released by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency.8………
“Uranium miners have been hit harder by the Fukushima Daiichi accident than any other segment of the nuclear fuel cycle,” the Red Book states, and Fukushima “has eroded public confidence in nuclear power in some countries and prospects for growth in nuclear generating capacity are in turn being reduced and subject to even greater uncertainty than usual.”
Uranium’s dead cat bounce as miners play chicken Dr Jim Green − Nuclear Monitor 2 Oct 2014 “…..the price increase has been driven by supply-side concerns and speculation instead of increased demand or even speculation regarding increased demand. UBS commodities analyst Daniel Morgan said in early September: “There’s been a few supply-side issues which has been enough for a very modest price rise. What the market really needs is a demand-side driver to get the price going and in my view we don’t have one at the moment.”2
Macquarie Group’s Stefan Ljubisavljevic predicts a uranium supply surplus for the next five years unless some unprofitable mines close.1 Raymond James analyst David Sadowski said in May that many utilities around the world “are sitting on near-record piles” of uranium.11 For example China has stockpiled about eight years’ supply (at its current rate of consumption) while it may take Japanese utilities a decade or more before they exhaust existing stockpiles.12
The long term price, where most uranium business is conducted, was still languishing at US$44 / lb in late August, a six-year low.3
A number of mines have been put into care-and-maintenance over the past year, including Paladin Energy’s Kayelekera mine in Malawi, and the Honeymoon mine in South Australia, owned by a Rosatom subsidiary. Many other planned mining projects have been cancelled or deferred or scaled down, and some uranium mining companies are being downgraded. Recent examples include:
Buy fertilizer stocks, don’t buy uranium and precious metals: RBC FINANCIAL POST, Peter Koven | October 1, 2014 |It has been a turbulent fall season for mining equities and commodity prices. As investors try to predict what will happen next, analysts at RBC Capital Markets are advising clients to go overweight on fertilizer equities and underweight on uranium and precious metals equities in the fourth quarter…….
The negative call on uranium is no surprise, as investors have been down on this sector ever since Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011. The analysts expect weak uranium demand and soft pricing will continue…….http://business.financialpost.com/2014/10/01/buy-fertilizers-dont-buy-uranium-and-precious-metals-rbc/
Quebec and Labrador First Nations draw the line against uranium By: Henry Lazenby 27 Sep 2014 TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – At a workshop on uranium development hosted by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) on Friday, First Nations from across the region reaffirmed their opposition to uranium development on their territories and throughout Quebec.
In March 2013, the AFNQL passed a resolution inviting its members to voice their opposition to uranium development and to declare a blanket rejection of the uranium exploration and exploitation on all First Nation territories. This followed a resolution adopted by the Grand Council of the Crees in August 2012 declaring a permanent moratorium on uranium development in Cree territory.
“The exploration and exploitation of uranium constitute major and irreversible threats to our population, our territories and the resources they contain. As First Nations, we have a sacred duty to protect our territories and ensure the sustainable development of our natural resources,” Timiskaming First Nation Chief Terence McBride said.
“Our experience here today has clearly demonstrated that the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador are united in our opposition to uranium development in our territories. We strongly encourage all the First Nations and citizens in Quebec to clearly and publicly express their opposition to uranium development,” Cree Nation Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come added.
In March 2013, Quebec’s Minister of the Environment announced a moratorium on uranium exploration or mining permits until the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) had completed hearings on the uranium industry in Quebec and provided recommendations to the Minister. The BAPE’S mandate began in May.
This week, the BAPE completed the second phase of its inquiry, during which it heard from various ministries, experts and industry representatives on a number of topics relating to uranium and its associated risks. The third phase of the BAPE hearings were scheduled to start in November, at which time members of the public would have the opportunity to make oral and written submissions to the BAPE.
Anyone wishing to make submissions must file a notice of intention, available on the BAPE website, by October 16.
Uranium Rally Threatened by Surplus as Mine Strike Eases Bloomberg, By Ben Sharples September 23, 2014 The rally in uranium spurred by speculation of further sanctions against Russia is poised to unravel as a supply surplus builds with the end of a labor strike at the world’s biggest mine in Canada……
Cantor estimates a uranium market surplus of 13.2 million pounds in 2014 while Raymond James Ltd., a financial adviser, on Aug. 27 forecast an overhang of about 10 million…….
Paladin Energy Ltd. said it would close its Kayelekera operation in Malawi until uranium climbs above $70 a pound, while Russia’s Atomredmetzoloto shut the Honeymoon mine in Australia last year…….http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-09-23/uranium-rally-threatened-by-surplus-as-mine-strike-eases
Uranium Corporation stops mining at Jadugora after 47 years B Sridhar,TNN | Sep 8, 2014 JAMSHEDPUR: Uranium Corporation of India stopped all mining activities at Jadugora in East Singhbhum from Sunday after 47 years. following a ministry order in July.
The Centre, following a Supreme Court order in May on amendment of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, issued a directive to all mineral-rich states on July 12 asking them to stop mining by corporate entities under deemed extension. The state then ordered closure of the decades-old uranium mines. “We have served the notice to UCIL (Uranium Corporation of India) informing the company about the directive of the state government,” said district mining officer Ratnesh Kumar Sinha…….http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/Uranium-Corp-stops-mining-at-Jadugora-after-47-years/articleshow/41970997.cms
Better Market Your Uranium Someplace Else, Japan Appetite No Longer Huge as Before – Former PM Tells Australia Queensland Premier Campbell NewmanInternational Business Times, By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 28, 2014 Campbell Newman, premier of Australia‘s Queensland state, has gotten an advice from former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and that is to market the country’s uranium to someplace else. This, as a new study said the bill of damages from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown will zoom to over $105 billion, double than the earlier estimates released by authorities in 2011.
While Japan may restart some of its 54 idled nuclear power plants, Kan said Japan’s appetite for the yellow cake uranium won’t be “anywhere the same levels of uranium it has in the past.”
Kan was in Australia last week on a trip sponsored by the Australian Conservation Foundation. A previous staunch supporter of nuclear power, Kan is now against uranium mining, having seen the effects of the Fukushima Daiichinuclear power plant meltdowns in March 2011.
Kan was Japan’s prime minister at the time of the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago.
“Even if some did restart it would be practically impossible to return to the kind of levels of operation that were in place before the March 2011 disaster,” Brisbane Times quoted Kan………
He also stressed the appeal of the yellow cake to fuel nuclear power plants had simmered down, and thus Queensland has China as the only potential country it can export its primary product.
“The trends we are seeing in the United States and Europe – and also because of the very high costs of nuclear power – we are not seeing a growth in this market,” he said………http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/564339/20140828/uranium-japan-appetite-kan-australia-queensland-newman.htm#.VADXudJdUnk
the people of Greenland are “split down the middle regarding the repeal of the ban.”
Hooge explains that the “mineral authorities” have fed the public disinformation over the last years but the tide may be turning, with growing concerns over environmental effects and the leftist party Inuit Ataqatigiit pledging to roll back the repeal if it wins back power.
The prospect of a relatively unknown Australian company exploiting massive untapped resources in Greenland deserves a robust public and political debate. It has thus far received nothing in Australia, and little in Denmark and Greenland.
In an age of worsening climate change, mining uranium is an arguably unsafe and potentially explosive answer to the problem
This is a story about an Australian company you’ve never heard of, operating in a nation that rarely enters the global media: Greenland. It’s a story about the intense search for energy sources in a world that’s moving away from the dirtiest fossil fuels.
Aleqa Hammond, the prime minister of Greenland, is the first woman to lead this autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. She also welcomes the financial opportunities from climate change and a melting Arctic Circle……..
In October last year, Hammond pushed legislation through Greenland’s parliament to overturn a 25 year old ban on the extraction of radioactive materials, including uranium, despite countless leading environmental NGOs urging otherwise. Continue reading
The health issue came to the attention of the High Court earlier this year after pictures of Jadugora’s deformed children appeared in the Indian press. The court in February ordered Uranium Corp. to produce documents that might shed light on the health issues. The court noted then that children living near the mines in Jadugora are “born with swollen heads, blood disorders and skeletal distortions.”
India Court Orders Uranium Corp. to Probe Deformities Near Mines Bloomberg By Rakteem Katakey and Tom Lasseter Aug 20, 2014 India’s sole uranium mining company is being ordered by a regional court to disclose radiation levels and the presence of any heavy metals in soil and water in a cluster of villages with reports of unusual numbers of deformed and sick children.
The order by the Jharkhand High Court also mandates thatUranium Corp. of India Ltd.explain how it ensures the safety of nearby civilian populations who may be exposed to its 193-acre (78-hectare) radioactive waste dump near the village of Jadugora in eastern India.
The move comes about a month after a Bloomberg News story chronicled the plight of parents living near the Uranium Corp. mines who are seeking answers to what’s sickening and killing so many of their kids. The story also reported that local residents routinely wander the unfenced dump sites and fish and bathe in a river that receives water flowing from the dumps, known as tailings ponds. The Bloomberg article was submitted to the judges of the High Court by Ananda Sen, the lawyer appointed by the court to review the case.
Uranium Corp. has denied its mining operations have anything to do with village health issues. In 2007, a survey of more than 2,100 households by an Indian physicians group found mothers in villages 1.5 miles from the mines reported congenital deformities more than 80 percent higher than the rates just 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, with reported child death rates from such abnormalities more than five times as high.
Uranium mining company must release survey data Argus Leader, KEVIN BURBACH, August 20, 2014 RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A mining company must release the results of a geological survey that opponents of its proposed uranium mine in western South Dakota say is necessary to ensure that local aquifers are protected, a federal licensing board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled Wednesday.
The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board continued its hearings Wednesday morning in Rapid City, where three federal judges are hearing challenges to a license granted to Powertech Uranium Corp. for its proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine.
The intervenors to the proposed mine — members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and other concerned parties — had been pushing for data Powertech collected by drilling throughout the region to find concentrations of uranium ore, among other things. They’ve said enough data haven’t been studied to know if the region’s aquifers would be contaminated or depleted if the company were to mine.
Powertech plans to use a method known as in-situ uranium recovery, which would pump groundwater fortified with oxygen and carbon dioxide into the underground ore deposits to dissolve the uranium. The water would be pumped back to the surface, where the uranium would be extracted and sold to nuclear power plants.
Dr. Robert Moran, who testified at the request of the intervenors, said making the data available would allow the geologists to better understand how the region’s groundwater could be affected if the company starts mining in the area……..http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2014/08/20/uranium-mining-company-must-release-survey-data/14355969/
Nuclear watchdog requests safety checks after B.C. mine breach CTV News, Dene Moore, The Canadian Press August 19, 2014 VANCOUVER -- A toxic spill from a British Columbia mine has prompted the country’s nuclear watchdog to request a series of checks at uranium facilities.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will discuss the failure of the tailings pond at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine during a meeting Wednesday.
In the interim, the commission has asked the uranium mining and milling operations it oversees to ensure that all necessary inspections and monitoring are in compliance with licence conditions……..
The breach sent 10 million cubic metres of waste water and 4.5 million cubic metres of silt into a network of salmon-bearing lakes and rivers near Likely, 600 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.
The reason for the failure at Mount Polley is not yet known: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/nuclear-watchdog-requests-safety-checks-after-b-c-mine-breach-1.1966932#ixzz3AzIudlBn
“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.”
India uranium mining fuels health crisis
Sanjay Pandey | Al Jazeera “They took away my land,” 35-year-old Agnu Murmu told Al Jazeera, days before he died. “I begged them to give me a small truck… but they gifted me with cancer.”
Murmu, according to social activist Ghanshyam Birulee, was just the latest casualty of radiation pollution in Jadugoda, a tribal heartland in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.
His house sits dangerously close to a tailing pond, where the government-run Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) discharges waste from its mining operations. Murmu’s mother said the family knew nothing about radiation when mining began here about five decades ago.
“Like other unsuspecting parents, I would also allow my children to play near the tailing pond and catch fish from the canal that I know now is contaminated by radiation pollution,” said Rakhi Murmu, 52, with tears spilling down her creased cheeks.
“Uranium mines have ruined our lives. I know they won’t rest till they bury us all in those pits.”
Spontaneous abortions and miscarriages
Radioactive waste generated by three government owned mines – Narwapahar, Bhatin and Jadugoda – has spurred fears of a health crisis in the region.
Residents say they suffer from a number of diseases linked to radiation pollution, including congenital deformities, sterility, spontaneous abortions and cancer – yet mining continues unabated near these Indian villages, without proper security measures in place.
Dumping of radioactive waste by the roadside or near the villages may be putting even more people at risk………
Several surveys conducted by independent agencies, including Japan’s Kyoto University and India’s Jadavpur University, have confirmed radiation pollution in the air, water and soil in Jadugoda.
Independent nuclear scientist Sanghmitra Gadekar, who conducted a survey on 9,000 villagers living in and around mines, has documented cases of congenital deformities, infertility, cancer, respiratory problems and miscarriages……..
Nitish Priyadarshi, a geologist who has surveyed radioactivity in Jamshedpur and Ranchi, said while uranium particles cannot travel that far, “its sister elements like radon gas, which damages lungs and kidney, can travel to the city and take the already high radioactivity to alarming levels.”…….
whatever the government policy, Jadugoda’s 50,000 tribal residents continue to stand exposed to a danger which the activists say “nobody cares about”.
“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.” http://ramumine.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/yet-another-example-of-how-mining-companies-destroy-local-peoples-lives/
With uranium poisoning wells, Navajos must drive miles to get drinking water
BUT MANY WHO ARE CONSTRICTED BY CIRCUMSTANCE STILL USE CONTAMINATED SUPPLIES
Brandon Loomis, The Republic | azcentral.com Uranium’s deadly flow 11 Aug 14
THE NAVAJO NATION ESTIMATES THAT 54,000 NAVAJOS HAUL WATER FROM UNREGULATED WELLS AND STOCK PONDS NUMBERING IN THE LOW THOUSANDS. “……….Twice a week, the Yazzies, 57-year-old Milton and 83-year-old Della, come down off their lonely hill on the Navajo Reservation’s western side and point themselves toward the city for the clean water they need to keep living. For ages, they drank from a well less than a mile from their home. Then they learned that poison lurked there.Uranium is gurgling up all over Navajo country.
At least three Yazzies have died of kidney ailments, a common result of chronic exposure to uranium. Federal environmental officials warned against drinking more. Milton learned to conserve, using an outhouse across their driveway and leaving the tank-supplied indoor plumbing to Della, because of her failing eyesight.
He begged the tribe, the feds, anyone who would listen, to build a pipeline through the sparsely populated Black Falls area, southeast of Cameron.
“I’ve been working so hard all these years to get good drinking water,” he said, “and it never came.”
Though they live out of anyone’s sight, the Yazzies are far from alone in their hardship……….http://www.azcentral.com/longform/news/arizona/investigations/2014/08/05/uranium-mining-poison-wells-safe-drinking-water/13635345/
Uranium mining on Navajo Reservation: How we did this The Republic | azcentral.com August 10, 2014 Uranium mining for America’s Cold War nuclear arms buildup has proved a lasting scourge on the nation’s largest American Indian reservation, and one that the same government that demanded the ore has been slow to address.
As the last of the sickened Navajo miners are stricken with lung diseases, younger generations are coping with kidney disease and other ailments, wondering whether the radioactive wastes have also sickened them. Meanwhile, hundreds of abandoned mines remain hazards with a cleanup cost that will stretch into the billions of dollars. Photographer David Wallace first took an interest in the problem in 2010 while on assignment documenting solar-energy installations at off-the-grid homes on the Navajo Reservation. He heard of sick miners and residents, and in 2013 began contacting activists with Forgotten People, a Navajo social-justice group.
Later that year, Wallace began visiting the homes of a sick miner and some families who had long histories of exposure to uranium-contaminated water. In January 2014, environment reporter Brandon Loomis joined the project and the two made periodic daylong visits to homes and mines in the Cameron, Gray Mountain and Black Falls areas north of Flagstaff — a quadrant of the reservation that was heavily mined and remains hazardous to many residents……….
U.S. and Navajo officials say both momentum and funding are building to enable a thorough cleanup. At the current rate of progress, though, still more generations of Navajos will face threats from hundreds of abandoned mines in the decades to come.
Wallace is a two-time runner-up for the Arizona Press Club Photographer of the Year award and a two-time regional Emmy winner for his videos.
How to reach Wallace
Loomis is an environment reporter with more than two decades of experience covering land and water issues in the West. He joined The Arizona Republic in 2012 after similar assignments at newspapers in Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah, and is now on a nine-month fellowship with Marquette University.
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