Uranium Mine Shelved in South Africa

5/15/18
ELAW Bulletin

Fantastic news! Residents of South Africa's Karoo region are spared the threat of radioactive contamination of groundwater and air from an open-pit uranium mining project proposed by the Australian mining company Peninsula Energy.
 
Peninsula Energy informed its shareholders that it has withdrawn from the project.
 
"For now, uranium mining in the Karoo is dead," writes Dr. Stefan Cramer, Science Advisor with The Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute (SAFCEI).
 
ELAW worked closely with attorney Angela Andrews at the Legal Resources Centre to evaluate Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for the proposed project. "There were serious deficiencies," says Dr. Mark Chernaik, ELAW Staff Scientist. "The company failed to assess how water-intensive uranium mining would threaten the fragility of strained groundwater resources in the arid Karoo region."

Angela has collaborated with ELAW for many years. She writes: "Well done once again for the incredible insights of Mark, who turned the tables!"
 
Dr. Cramer describes the threats the project posed in The Ecologist:
 
"This development would have wiped out years of painstaking recovery of the semi-arid plains and threaten the very existence of several rural communities... The environmental documentation of the potential impacts of uranium mining was of such poor quality that Peninsula Energy had to downsize its potential footprint in the Karoo to only 12 percent of the original land request. A systemic information drive alerted the Karoo residents of this threat to their livelihood and health."
 
Congratulations SAFCEI, the Legal Resources Centre, the Southern Cape Land Committee, Earthlife Africa, and the communities that opposed this mining scheme, and won!
 
For more information, see:
 
Victory for campaign against uranium mining project in South Africa's Karoo region
 
For more information about ELAW's work in South Africa and around the world, please contact:
 
Maggie Keenan
ELAW Communications Director
maggie@elaw.org
 
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