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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Uranium Mining in the year 2014

Uranium Mining in the year 2014 - Worth a read why it is so environmentally unsound!

The mining and export of Australian uranium has been a controversial issue for many

years, and will continue to remain an intense political issue for many more years to

come. With a depressed world uranium market, the mining industry has been seeking to

cut costs in order to make projects more economically viable. One such method of

achieving this is a mining process known as In Situ Leaching (ISL) or Solution Mining.
It involves pumping chemicals into the ground to dissolve the uranium mineral “in situ”

and then pumping these uranium-laden solutions back to the surface for extraction and

processing of the uranium into yellowcake for export.

It is claimed by the industry to be “a controllable, safe, and environmentally benign

method of mining which can operate under strict environmental controls and which
often has cost advantages”1. This ignores the reality of many former ISL trials and mine

sites across Europe and North America, and the history of ISL trial mines in Australia.
The technique of In Situ Leaching is not always controllable, safe, nor environmentally

benign, and the hidden costs are usually borne by the underground environment. The

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