nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Curtains for Autralian uranium miner Paladin’s mine in Malawi

Paladin to shut its uranium mine, Australian Mining,  27 May, 2014 Cole Latimer Paladin has announced it will cease production at its Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi. It comes after the miner advised it would place the operation in to care and maintenance earlier this year. According to Paladin it is ceasing production “due to reasons beyond the company’s control and related to the depressed uranium prices”. On May 21 it halted all operations at the mine, and will now cease supplying uranium to the global market, causing a drop of around 3.3 million pounds of supply per annum. “The outcome is an unfortunate but direct consequence of the continuing deterioration in the uranium price,” the company said in a statement. “Certain estimates now place up to 60% of current annual global production with costs above the current spot price, which is unsustainable.”…..http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/paladin-to-shut-its-uranium-mine

May 29, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Malawi | Leave a comment

Unsustainable deal – Paladin’s uranium scam in Malawi

In the wake of the Kayelekera scam, Malawi needs to realise that tax is a governance issue. …. The cost of tax incentives given to Paladin is enormous. We can’t sustain it.

secret-dealsMalawi gov’t and Paladin: Act on Kayelekera uranium raw deal now!  Nyasa Times, By Veronica Maele-Magombe July 30, 2013  Since last week’s stinging observation by UnitedNations (UN) Special Raportuer on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter regarding Malawi’s Kayelekera Uranium Mine deal, two elusive culprits remain pretty much intact in their hard shells. It is as if the country’s most guarded contract between government and Australian company, Paladin Africa Ltd has not been unravelled as the worst possible swindle. Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | Malawi, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Uranium | Leave a comment

UN examines Australian uranium miner Paladin’s Malawi operations

UN rubbishes Malawi’s Paladin uranium deal, fertilizer subsidy By Hudson Mphande, Nyasa Times July 23,  2013  United Nations Special Raportuer on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter who was in Malawi for an assessment of the food situation in the country has rubbished Kayerekera uranium mine deal between Malawi and Australian Paladin Mining Company saying the Southern African country has had a raw deal that is robbing the poor.

The UN Raportuer said the uranium mining deal was one of the investments in Malawi through which the country is losing resources that could otherwise make a difference in food security and other pro-poor initiatives. He said in the life span of the mine Malawi is expected to lose almost US$281 million…

“Mining companies are exempt from customs duty, excise duty, value added taxes on mining machinery, plant and equipment. They can also sign special deals on the rate of royalty owed to the government. I believe that there are more reasons that investors would come to Malawi without such incentives,” he said.

De Schutter was addressing journalists in the capital Lilongwe at the end of his 11-day tour of the country.

He bemoaned that due to illicit financial flows, tax envasion as well as tax incentives that the country offer to both domestic and foreign companies currently Malawi was failing to get maximum use of its resources.

De Schutter said that revenue losses from special tax incentives to Paladin Africa Mining alone are estimated at almost K67 billion (US$205 milion) since the mine started its operations and could reach almost K92 billion (US$281 million) over its13-year lifespan.

“Paladin alone is costing the budget more than US$20 million (almost K8 billion) a year in taxes,” he said.

He added: “I am convinced that unless combined with a comprehensive enhancement and optimisation of tax revenue, current macro-economic reforms may not have substantive positive impacts. There is need for
Malawi to examine its national tax laws and policies towards preventing illicit capital flight. As mining develops, Malawi can simply not afford business-as-usual.”

The UN Special Raportuer said it is estimated that the country has lost over 10 percent of its growth domestic product (GDP) to illicit outflows and tax evasion over the period 1980 to 2009……..

De Schutter also specifically expressed concerns on the country’s current minimum wage currently at K371 ($1.12) per day, describing it as the lowest in the world…… The UN special rapporteur said he will give a report and his recommendations to both the UN Human Rights Commission and the Malawi Government. http://www.nyasatimes.com/2013/07/23/un-rubbishes-malawis-paladin-uranium-deal-fertilizer-subsidy/

July 24, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Malawi, politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

Paladin Energy “screwing” Malawians in uranium mining deal

all a fat lie. Paladin and many other foreign multinational mining countries are least interested to contributing to the Malawi economic growth. They are here to milk the country – exploiting all that it has rich in minerals and dump us when the time is right even poorer.

Killing Malawians through the rotten extractives deals: The case of Paladin’s uranium mining Nyasa Times, by Patrica Masinga, 24 April 13,  Malawi has in the few weeks been engaged by a plethora of stakeholders discussing strategies to revive, or more on the ground, reclaim the benefits that Malawians are been milked of by the so-called extractive industry multi-national corporations.

They call themselves investors, and government believes that the Malawi Development Goals (MDGs – who cares if it’s the second phase) will be boosted, particularly that mining alone through Kayerekera of Paladin Energy Limited group of companies (trading as Paladin (Africa) Ltd in Malawi?) could provide a large economic base.

But that is all a fat lie. Paladin and many other foreign multinational mining countries are least interested to contributing to the Malawi economic growth. They are here to milk the country – exploiting all that it has rich in minerals and dump us when the time is right even poorer.

Imagine, to screw Malawians of their rightful economic gains, the company, incorporated in Australia first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on March 29, 1994 under code ‘PDN’, and quickly changed its name from Paladin Resources NL to Paladin Resources Ltd in 2000 and listed under the Toronto Stock Exchnage (TSX) in Canada April 29, 2005, and again changed its name to Paladin Energy Ltd in November 2007 and listed on the Namibian Stock Exchnage on February 2008.

diagram-Paladin-network

By such trends, one is compelled to question the motive, considering also that in Namibia itself the company owns the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine where it started production in 2008 and has Kayerekera Uranium Mine as its second largest mining venture in this part of Africa acting also as a good supllment to the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine.They call themselves investors, and government believes that the Malawi Development Goals (MDGs – who cares if it’s the second phase) will be boosted, particularly that mining alone through Kayerekera of Paladin Energy Limited group of companies (trading as Paladin (Africa) Ltd in Malawi?) could provide a large economic base.

But that is all a fat lie. Paladin and many other foreign multinational mining countries are least interested to contributing to the Malawi economic growth. They are here to milk the country – exploiting all that it has rich in minerals and dump us when the time is right even poorer. Continue reading

July 24, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, Malawi, politics international | Leave a comment

Australian uranium mining company Paladin in trouble in Namibia, as well as in Malawi

Some of the issues pertain to female worker’s miscarriages; [CEO] Duvenhage’s apparent failure to engage with the union; the company’s reluctance to give workers a “single cent” for an annual increment; unfair performance bonuses; nepotism and corruption.

Australian-based Paladin Energy Ltd. (TSE:PDN) owns 100% interest in the mine.

Protests hit second largest uranium mine in Namibia http://www.mining.com/protests-hit-second-largest-uranium-mine-in-namibia-85919/ Vladimir Basov | July 2, 2013 About 300 workers, including mine staff and contractor employees, picketed at Langer Heinrich Uranium (LHU) mine last Thursday over pay and working conditions, The Namibian reported.

Workers and media were barred from the minesite where the demonstration was supposed to take place although the protesters had organized the peaceful demonstration at the beginning of last week and had announced it to the mine’s management.

diagram-Paladin-network

As a result, all day shift buses were forced to stop inside the concession area where workers then had to disembark – about five kilometres away from the actual site. To their dismay, the protesters were forced to picket at the concession area. The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) branch executives felt that the mine’s management snubbed what it termed a legal and democratic action. Continue reading

July 5, 2013 Posted by | employment, Malawi, Uranium | 2 Comments

Paladin uranium’s losses, but its CEO does very well financially

Paladin boss earnings increase while Kayelekera cut jobs http://www.nyasatimes.com/2013/02/14/paladin-boss-gets-massive-pay-hike-after-malawi-job-cuts/ By Nyasa Times Reporter February 14, 2013 Despite uranium miner, Paladin Energy limited claiming that its Malawi operations in the northern district of Karonga at Kayelekera are operating on massive losses and that world uranium prices are low, the company’s managing director John Borshoff  elected to cash in his leave entitlementment, Nyasa Times has established.

Paladin’s annual report reveals that despite Borshoff  honouring a promise to cut his salary by 25% between November 2011 and November 2012 – a promise he extended to June 2013, the CEO was able to boost his remuneration after a review of annual leave entitlements thereby pocketing a 52% rise in earnings. The review focused on annual and long-service leave in a bid to cut Paladin’s liabilities, and Borshoff responded by cashing out 220 days of leave.The transaction approaved by the remuneration Committee and the board netted  Borshoff $1,717,000 and helped increase his remuneration to $3,464,000, from $2.26 million in 2012.

The uranium miner recently retrenched 110 staff from its Kayelekera mine in Malawi in an austerity drive which others commentators fault Boshoff for excercising his right to cash in the leave entitlement when local staff just had their calls for a 66 per cent pay rise rejected.

”Its total mockery to the Malawian workers at Kayelekera who were retrenched but have not had their benefits yet. These people are suffering. That’s a wake-up call to Malawi Government that Paladin is making profits despite plunge in prices” Karonga Business Community Chairperson Wavisanga Silungwe said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.

“While production has gone up, the uranium price has not; hence Kayelekera continues to operate at a loss. We had warned government that this situation was unsustainable and would lead to job losses unless the uranium price improved, which it has not,” said Paladin’s (African) Ltd General Manager, international affairs, Greg Walker.

Walker said the staff reduction is in “response to economic pressures on the company caused by the continuing depressed uranium price” Borshoff’s contract with Paladin has one year left, and provides him with three months’ long-service leave for every five years of service. He is entitled to two years of double base salary when he retires or has his employment terminated.

 

July 5, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Malawi, Uranium | Leave a comment

Trouble in Malawi, arrests at Paladin Energy’s uranium mine

the development has stunned most workers who think management’s move is aimed at eliminating workers deemed to be fighting for the employees’ welfare.Management already eliminated other employees through “unfair dismissals and retrenchment” of 25th January 2013.

Five held for ‘bomb’ threats at Paladin’s Malawi uranium mine, Nyasa Times  By Nyasa Times Reporter, June 19, 2013   Malawi Police in the northern border district of Karonga are keeping in custody five Kayelekera Uranium Mine workers on allegations they threatened management to blow up the mine.

The five, arrested last Friday, are also suspected of being linked to the theft of explosives worth US$5780.76 (about K2, 150, 600) belonging to China Road and Bridge Construction Company in Chitipa.

There was no immediate comment from Karonga Police as officers said they are “still investigating”. But Nyasa Times sources said the five were arrested on orders from Paladin Energy Limited (owners of Kayelekera). The five, who are production plant operators, are reported to have threatened Kayelekera management that they would blow up the process plant if their salaries were not increased and foreign workers laid off…….. Continue reading

June 20, 2013 Posted by | incidents, Malawi, Uranium | Leave a comment

Exploitation in Malawi: Paladin’s Kayelekera Uranium Project

THE CASE OF PALADIN’S KAYELEKERA URANIUM MINE: REPORT RELEASED ON THE REVENUE COSTS AND BENEFITS TO MALAWI, Mining in Malawi, 23 May 13 The Australian mining company Paladin Energy and its subsidiaries along with the Malawi-based Kayelekera Uranium Project, in which it has an 85% stake, were the subject of much discussion this evening in Lilongwe at the launch of the report The Revenue Costs and Benefits of Foreign Direct Investment in the Extractive Industry in Malawi: The Case of Kayelekera Uranium Mine. The report explores what it describes as Malawi’s largest Foreign Direct Investment* and the extent to which Malawi is benefiting. It concludes that ”Malawi is getting a raw deal from the mining and exploitation of uranium by Kayelekera Mine”…….

diagram-Paladin-network

At the launch of the report, Dalitso Kubalasa and Collins Magalasi, the executive directors of MEJN and AFRODAD respectively, spoke briefly before AFRODAD’s Tafadzwa Chikumbu presented the research findings. This paved the way for a lively question and answer session with questions raised about whether or not parliament is ready to renegotiate the terms of the agreement with Paladin, what has happened to the man who lost his sight due to “kayelekera radiation” and if mining revenue in Malawi therefore “dirty money”.

This discussion was followed by the official launch of the report by the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Juliana Mphande who exclaimed that she was “appalled to note that incentives offered to Paladin have severe implication to Government revenue and require attention of parliament”. She outlined the areas requiring parliamentary investigation and debate…..

Below is a summary of the main findings: Continue reading

May 25, 2013 Posted by | 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES, Malawi, politics international, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment

Is there any proper regulation of radioactivity in Malawi’s uranium mines?

Siliwonde,-Abraham-blind-byComment on article  Man loses sight due to Kayelekera radiation rshaba , 20 May 13,  Does this mean that Paladin does not offer protective clothing including protective glasses to its employees? This is a no-brainer for someone dealing with radioactive substance business. I am shocked! It seems Paladin is taking advantage in people’s ignorance by not investing in appropriate protection especially for its front-line employees doing the “dirty” work. I could understand if it were a Chinese or Indian based company,

BUT Australian & Canadian based, my foot! Where are the government regulators? This should be a basic issue on their “checklist”: no protection and insurance cover for front-line staff, no business, simple and straight forward. The problem is that once someone has been exposed to radioactivity then whoever or whatever they come into contact with, will indirectly be exposed to radioactivity. Does the Government run regular radioactive on water, foods etc around the area? http://www.bnltimes.com/index.php/sunday-times/headlines/national/15108-man-loses-sight-due-to-kayelekera-radiation

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Malawi, safety | 1 Comment

Radiation exposure led to blindness in Kayelekera uranium mine worker

Siliwonde,-Abraham-blind-byMan loses sight due to Kayelekera radiation, SUNDAY TIMES, 19 MAY 2013   KAREN MSISKA  It is all doom and gloom for a Kayelekera Uranium Mine ex-employee who has lost his sight, his job and any means of eking out a leaving to fend for his extended family.

On July 7, 2010, Abraham Siliwonde started working as a labourer at [Australian]  Paladin Africa’s Kayelekera Mine in Karonga bubbling with hope that he would use the remuneration to improve living standards in his household.

But less than three years later, the 31-year-old, along with his six children and five wards from his deceased relatives, is a mere dependent on a small banana business his wife conducts at Karonga town market.

He lost sight in July 2012 and medical examinations have linked his condition, uveitis or inflammation of the uvea – the part of the eye that contains the iris and ciliary body and choroid – to exposure to radioactive chemicals.

Uranium ore is known to be highly radioactive.”In February 2012, I was moved to spotting. This is where one stands and guides the dumpers on where to drop the uranium ore from the pit as it is set to get into the crusher, the first point in uranium processing,” said Siliwonde on Friday.

“I was guiding dumpers carrying high grade uranium ore; the other grades are low and medium. I could feel intense heat from lumps of uranium ore and the next day I would be passing yellowish urine and feeling malarial symptoms.” He said regardless of the gear one puts on while at spotting, they feel the heat being emitted by the uranium ore, stressing “the situation is worsened by supervisors who keep people there longer than more productive.”

He said he was drafted into driving dumpers in January 2012 but by July, he had lost his vision and instead of working, he was a continuous visitor to health facilities seeking to restore his vision. ”After a series of visits to the mine clinic at Kayelekera, I was referred to Karonga district hospital where I was further referred to Mzuzu central hospital on 30 November 2012,” he added.

“At Mzuzu Central Hospital, they asked whether I had an eye operation before because they said my eyes had cracks. I underwent strenuous tests but after telling them the environment I was working in, they identified exposure to radiation as the possible cause and referred me to Kamuzu Central Hospital.”

According to medical documents The Sunday Times has seen, Siliwonde’s reference to Kamuzu Central Hospital’s Lions Sight First Eye Hospital was “to determine if patient’s condition may indeed be due to uranium dust exposure.” His situation was not improving even with spectacles. A reference report dated April 15, 2013 indicates that Siliwonde’s acuity (sharpness of vision) for both eyes had slightly improved to 6/36 from 6/60.

A report signed by Dr J Msosa, Chief Ophthalmologist at Lions Sight First Eye hospital, confirms exposure to radiation as the possible cause.

Part of the report reads: “The vitritis (posterior uveitis) may indeed be due to exposure to radiation. It is well known that all radioactive substances can cause radiation retinopathy which appears like posterior uveitis………

“The only source of income is a small banana business my wife conducts. It’s a pity that the situation at Kayelekera is not closely monitored. A lot of people are suffering because they are exposed to radioactive dust blowing from the pit area since the surface is not kept wet as per agreement.”

However, Paladin officials pushed the bucket to one of their contractors. In response to an emailed questionnaire, Paladin Energy Limited’s General Manager – International Affairs, Greg Walker, said Siliwonde was employed by one of their contractors at the mine. He added that the issue has not been brought to Paladin’s attention……http://www.bnltimes.com/index.php/sunday-times/headlines/national/15108-man-loses-sight-due-to-kayelekera-radiation

May 20, 2013 Posted by | health, Malawi, Uranium | 1 Comment

Rotten nuclear colonialism – example, Paladin uranium in Malawi

Of the profits made, Paladin, for instance rakes in about 80% and has a paltry 1.5% for the Malawi nation

Paladin says in one breath it paid over U$5.6 million in taxes to the Malawi government, and in its other breath through its published annual report, indicates it paid about U$9.3 million in taxes.

the British silently stole our uranium and left when their projections did not add up to their whims, and now we have the Aussies who are refusing to deal fairly.

Killing Malawians through the rotten extractives deals: The case of Paladin’s uranium mining http://www.nyasatimes.com/2013/04/24/killing-malawians-through-the-rotten-extractives-deals-the-case-of-paladins-uranium-mining/   Patricia Masinga, April 24, 2013   Malawi has in the few weeks been engaged by a plethora of stakeholders discussing strategies to revive, or more on the ground, reclaim the benefits that Malawians are been milked of by the so-called extractive industry multi-national corporations.

They call themselves investors, and government believes that the Malawi Development Goals (MDGs – who cares if it’s the second phase) will be boosted, particularly that mining alone through Kayerekera of Paladin Energy Limited group of companies (trading as Paladin (Africa) Ltd in Malawi?) could provide a large economic base.

But that is all a fat lie. Paladin and many other foreign multinational mining countries are least interested to contributing to the Malawi economic growth. They are here to milk the country – exploiting all that it has rich in minerals and dump us when the time is right even poorer.

Imagine, to screw Malawians of their rightful economic gains, the company, incorporated in Australia first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on March 29, 1994 under code ‘PDN’, and quickly changed its name from Paladin Resources NL to Paladin Resources Ltd in 2000 and listed under the Toronto Stock Exchnage (TSX) in Canada April 29, 2005, and again changed its name to Paladin Energy Ltd in November 2007 and listed on the Namibian Stock Exchnage on February 2008.

By such trends, one is compeled to question the motive,  Continue reading

April 25, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Malawi, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Australian uranium company Paladin will now have to give Malawi a fair deal

Malawi to renogotiate with Paladin on the Kayerekera uranium deal http://www.malawitoday.com/news/128733-malawi-renogotiate-paladin-kayerekera-uranium-deal 14 April 2013 ZODIAK RADIO  Malawi has finally succumbed to pressure from activists to start re-negotiating with Paladin Africa Limited on the Kayerekera Uranium deal in a last ditch attempt to create a win-win situation.

First on the proposal is to remove the confidentiality clause on the agreement such that it be made public before rectifying other strings within the deal.

Minister of Mines Mr John Bande confirmed that discussions are underway with Paladin Africa Limited on the matter.

“We are working out on modalities to discuss in public the agreement between Kayerekera and the Malawi Government,” said Bande.

Bande blamed the previous regime for putting a confidentiality clause on the license. “Now government is working to remove that clause so that the deal can be discussed in public,” said Bande.

Critics have continuously called on government to re-negotiate the license, saying Malawi is getting a raw deal from it.

Issued in 2009 the Kayerekera uranium mine license is for a period of 15 years and is subject to renewal.

The license among others also allowed the miner to open an off-shore account.

According to the deal, Malawi was meant to be collecting a meager US$ 100 million in taxes annually from the deal.

April 15, 2013 Posted by | Malawi, politics international | 2 Comments

Australian uranium companies use taxpayer funds to set up overseas aid, and look good

Paladin, which has been the subject of some controversy in Malawi over job cuts, was last year linked to a funding application through its employees’ charity – Friends and Employees of Paladin for African Children.

 Paladin’s (African) Ltd general manager, international affairs, Greg Walker, who was invited late last year to be Australia’s honorary consul to Malawi, was involved in the process, according to 2012 correspondence from Australia’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, to Mr Walker. The letter obtained under freedom of information confirmed Mr Walker’s successful application for the employees’ charity funding proposal.

ethics-nuclearThe Aidwatch director Thulsi Narayanasamy said it was not the place of the Australian aid program to fund the corporate social responsibility programs of wealthy mining companies.

Firms use tax money for aid projects : http://www.smh.com.au/money/tax/firms-use-tax-money-for-aid-projects-20130129-2ditd.html#ixzz2Jbp0RzOT  January 30, 2013 Rory Callinan

WEALTHY resource companies operating overseas are tapping into Australian taxpayer funds to set up aid projects potentially benefiting their corporate social responsibility credentials.

Aid and mining watchdogs have expressed concerns about the practice, arguing the corporations are wealthy enough to bankroll their own aid and that linking donations to controversial mine operations is a conflict of interest.

Nine mining companies all operating in Africa have been linked to the successful applications via the Foreign Affairs Department’s Direct Aid Program – a scheme that allows heads of missions to give up to $30,000 to local causes.

About $215,000 of taxpayers’ money went to the mining company-conceived projects last financial year, including a school for the deaf, providing trade skill training to local workers, establishing women’s groups and digging wells. Two applications involved uranium mining companies, Paladin Energy in Malawi and Bannerman Resources in Namibia. Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Malawi, Namibia, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Malawi protest against uranium mining company called off. Why?

Malawi group gets Paladin’s K0.9 million to publicize aborted protest  The Maravi Post-14/11/2012 Malawi group gets Paladin’s K0.9 million to publicize aborted  MZUZU–Paladin (Africa) Limited has provided funds amounting to K900, 000 … subscribers only

Paladin accuser recants threat allegation; Kyungu’s point man ... The Maravi Post-26/11/2012 MZUZU–Karonga Youth for Justice and Development (KYJD) has recanted the allegation made against Paladin (Africa) Limited, owners of subscribers only  http://www.maravipost.com/malawi-news/society/2331-paladin-accuser-recants-threat-allegation-kyungu%E2%80%99s-point-man-praises-mining-firm.html

December 14, 2012 Posted by | Malawi, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Uranium | Leave a comment

Australian rare earths company Lynas – pulling out of its Malawi project?

Lynas Likely To Give Up Rare Earths Project in Africa International Business Times,  By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 14, 2012  With its highly-controversial Malaysian rare earths processing plant an already ample source of headache, Lynas Corp. has been reported to be likely backing out from another rare earths project, this time in Africa.

Citing unidentified industry sources, The West Australian reported that Lynas Corp. is thinking of shunning the Kangankunde rare earths project in Malawi after a Malawi High Court questioned the authenticity of the Australian miner’s ownership over the project…..
With the recent development, the Australian rare earths miner deemed it might be better to give up the African project altogether, than suffer again the same fate as with its highly controversial rare earths processing plant in Malaysia, The West Australian reported…. Lynas Corp. “is reassessing the project’s risks in the context of Malawi’s present governance and institutional frameworks,” sources told The West Australian. … http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/351984/20120614/lynas-corp-rare-earths-malawi-africa-malaysia.htm

June 16, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, Malawi | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 858 other followers