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Radiation leakage fear from fire in Rossing uranium mine

radiation-warningWorkers evacuated in Namibian mine fire with fear of radiation leakage 13 Feb 15 The fire-hit Rossing Uranium is located near the town of Arandis, some 65 kilometers from the coastal city of Swakopmund. Its main shareholders are British-Australian mining cooperation Rio Tinto Group (69 percent), the Iranian government (15 percent) and the Namibian government (three percent).

The mine’s emergency service evacuated all workers to safe areas after the fire broke out at the final product recovery plant of the mine, where uranium oxide is packed for export, according to a statement issued Thursday afternoon by the mine.

There were no injuries to the employees. Mining operations in the areas were not affected by the incident and continue as normal, the statement said.

“The fire happened in a sudden and spread quickly within the plant. We had to call the fire brigades from Swakopmund and Arandis to assist us,” said a worker who declined to name himself.

The fire was contained two hours later, however some workers feared a possible radiation leakage.

“Our only worry now is the possibility of a radiation leakage as this is the final plant where we pack uranium,” the worker said.

The mine’s spokesperson Botha Ellis said the mine is assessing and monitoring the situation.

“We are aware of such a possibility, but it is too early to comment on it as we are currently busy with the assessment and investigation to find out the cause of the fire,” Ellis said.

Discovered in 1928, the Rossing Uranium Mine is one of the largest and longest-running uranium mines in the world and in 2013 produced 3.4 percent of global output of uranium.


February 14, 2015 - Posted by | general

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