Paladin ramp up at Langer Heinrich, face legal action at Kayelekera
13 June 2007
Commissioning of the Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia is progressing well, but is behind schedule, said owner Paladin Resources. Meanwhile, the Malawian government has reaffirmed support for the company's Kayelekera project in the face of legal action by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Paladin statements explain that ramp-up efforts have hit trouble after equipment failure in heat exchange systems, among other issues. Precipitation and drying circuits are perfoming satisfactorily and ion exchange systems have shown above-design performance.
Production rates would be reduced by 130,000 lb of uranium from the target of 400,000 lb by the end of June. Some 200,000 lb of uranium has been produced and is lying in drums, while 70,000 more is currently in the drying process. The company is 'making suitable commercial arrangements' with its customers to ensure delivery obligations.
Despite the problems, Paladin plan to achieve their target output from Langer Heinrich of 2.6 million lb uranium in 2007/8.
Meanwhile, legal action concerning Paladin's Kayelekera uranium mining project in Malawi has been launched by a group of NGOs. The groups allege there were 'deficiencies' in the Malawian government's handling of the project's environmental impact assessment under the Malawi Environment Management Act.
However, the NGOs do not intend to stop the mine. A spokesman for the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, which supports the action said: "It is a very welcome project."
The Malawian Ministry of Energy and Mines issued a press release stating that it believed the government had complied with the Act and it would be monitoring developments at Kayelekera on an ongoing basis. It added: "The Ministry of Energy and Mines would therefore like to inform all Malawians who wish this country well that it is in the public's interest that the uranium mining project at Kayelekera should be carried out."
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