Industry

LPM to involve court in Omaheke uranium mine

Summary

The Landless People Movement (LPM) has indicated to seek a court intervention to halt the exploration activities of the envisioned uranium mine in Omaheke region, should the government not yield to their opposing cancellation call with immediate effect. The proposed […]

The Landless People Movement (LPM) has indicated to seek a court intervention to halt the exploration activities of the envisioned uranium mine in Omaheke region, should the government not yield to their opposing cancellation call with immediate effect.

The proposed mine by a Russian-based company Uranium One Group has raised red flags amongst some parliamentarians and community members, stressing that the mine presents hazardous implications on the headspring aquifer in the areas being explored in the Aminius constituency.

Speaking at a media conference here on Monday, LPM Human Rights Desk, Joyce Muzengua said after consultation with communities inhabiting the land, the party has resolved to take the issue to court should the revocation of the Environmental Protection License (EPL) not take place.

Muzengua stressed that LPM has written letters to the government through the custodian ministry of mines and energy to seek the cancellation of the exploration and prospect clearance certificate, however, proved futile.

She noted that a South African-based company that conducted the environmental risk assessment studies indicated that the uranium mine envisioned is right on top of the aquifer which if mined has long-term side effects to the underground in which the inhabitants of the region depend on for their livelihoods.

“Our position is that the mining exploration should not go on by all means but the ministry of mines is circumventing it and it is not coming out on providing its position on this issue,” she said.

Muzengua further noted that LPM also wrote letters calling on solidarity from the international world and domestic political counterparts including the European Union, President of the United States, South Africa, Botswana and the environmental justice movement amongst others to supplement their efforts to bring the mining to halt.

Responding to questions pertaining to the issue last week in the National Assembly, line minister Tom Alweendo said currently the drilling of boreholes is at a halt as the company is awaiting new permits, adding that the company received the needed permits from the government on whatever they performed at the site.

“The ministry is going to continue monitoring to make sure the company does what is expected as per the permits issued. We are equally concerned because if they do that without water management process it may contaminate the underground water,” Alweendo indicated.

The company which invested thus far through the exploration phase about US.dollars 50 million, aims to invest a further US.dollars 300 to US.dollars 500 million over 25 years upon commencement.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

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