Paladin denies uranium pollution claims

Paladin Energy has denied claims it released toxic water from its Kayelekera uranium mine into a local river system in Malawi.

In a statement yesterday, the company said local non-government organisations and individuals openly hostile to the company had made false statements about toxic water being discharged into the river.

Paladin said the claims “intended to cause alarm and distress in communities living in the vicinity of KM and the local river system”.

“Paladin emphatically refutes these accusations and will pursue legal steps unless these perpetrators of gross misinformation cease their dissemination of irresponsible and misleading fabrications,” the statement read.

The company explained that while it did plan to commence the controlled release of surplus water into the local river system during the monsoonal wet season, the water would be treated to meet Malawi and internationally recognised discharge standards, including World Health Organisation drinking water guidelines for uranium content.

However Paladin said that relatively light and infrequent rainfall meant no water has been treated and released to date.

“When water treatment and release commences, Paladin will undertake constant environmental monitoring of the process, which will also be monitored and regulated by the Government of Malawi,” the company said.

Paladin said the controlled water release was necessary to avoid any possible unplanned and uncontrolled discharge of run-off water contained in storage ponds at the mine.

The operation has been in care and maintenance since February 2014. 

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