Uranium toxic leak into Lake Malawi: Paladin plays down mine spill

A tank containing untreated radioactive material has exploded at Kayelekera uranium mine in northern border district of Karonga spilling into the local river system and leaking to Lake Malawi causing alarm amongst locals.

The processing plant at Paladin Energy's Kayelekera mine in Malawi

The processing plant at Paladin Energy’s Kayelekera mine in Malawi

A coalition of Malawi civil society organisations has recently accused uranium Paladin Energy of secretly discharging contaminated sludge and mining tailings into Lake Malawi, according to a report compiled by members of the Natural Resources Justice Network.

But the Company rejected the claims saying they contained blatant falsehoods and misleading statements intended to cause alarm and distress to local communities in Malawi.

However, on Wednesday confirmed a surge of water from a heavy storm on Monday night had caused the liner in its plant run-off tank to rupture, releasing up to 500 cubic metres of material to the affected areas of the minesite.

The company did not mention of the toxic waste spilling into a local river.

“Up to 0.05 cubic metres (50 litres) may have overtopped one of the containment bunds due to the nature of the rainfall event at the time,” the company said.

Paladin said it had also formally advised relevant Government of Malawi authorities of the incident and referred to the damage as “minor” and said the site remained secure.

The miner said it will sample water from the local stream system near its Kayelekera mine to ensure a spillage had not resulted in contamination.

“A sampling program to analyse water from within the local stream system was also initiated to confirm no contamination occurred,” the company said.

The company had previously announced it planned a controlled release of surplus water into the local river system early this year, during the monsoonal wet season.

NRJN board chairperson Kossam Munthali has since asked government not to issue a permit, allowing the uranium miner to offload the waste, which includes waste uranium rock, acids and arsenic, among others.

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37 thoughts on “Uranium toxic leak into Lake Malawi: Paladin plays down mine spill”

  1. jakai kandau says:

    Muisova nokha

  2. mboniyabwalo says:

    From what paradin is saying. Something serious gonna happen to the people of karonga living close to the affected rivers and places. Uranium are hazardous materials and must be handled by the professionals not the white collar job people. I thought the first could have been evacuating the people living down wind to the where the spill has occurred. And immediately prevent the communities from using anything which can be exposed. By the way the professional people to handle this situation and decontamite the affected people are firefighters and the army. Public Safety in such incidents from the emergency response guide book say ; -as an immediate precautionary measure , isolate spill or leak area 25 meters in all directions. Stay up wind , Keep unauthorized personnel away. Now who is going there to assess the leakage. Are they going with Radio Active Material equipment plus class 1PPE with SCBAs? if not then they should not go or the paradin will not take the team to where the real leakage has occurred. Mark my words.

  3. Political Analyst says:

    Ndalama atibere(through their corrupt deal with Bingu DPP)…Pano atimwetse Uranium tife wodya ndalamwa aliphee-e…Chilango chake ndiye mupatsana chotani? Ziphuphu upon ziphuphu uku aMalawi ovota aja akufa ndi poizoni wanuyo.What injustice!

  4. John says:

    Pali mgwirizano wanji wachinsinsi pakati pa DPP ndi Paladin. Chodabwitsa nchoti mu nthawi ya ulamuliro wa PP anatseka mgodi. Pano DPP yalowanso mboma nawo ali mphuno bii abwereranso. Apa mpofunika kufufuzapo.

  5. A MPINGO says:

    URANIUMGATE URANIUMGATE !!

  6. mwiithotho says:

    Paladin thinks Malawian people are foolish. They must pack up and go forth with! !

  7. JT says:

    Stupid idea,try to come up with fact that we can learn.

  8. drakes says:

    People are trying to be emotional here, lets wait and see the report, most of the information here may be or may not be accurate, so to rush with conclusions when you dont have datails is counter productive and destructive. The best the Govt csn do is to tell Paladin to close up this mine because there is just too much bad publicity on against this mine

  9. people of Karonga will be ngati aja amu wrong turn the movie

  10. Dzoneni says:

    Uranium effects on the environment takes over 300 years to clear! Please do something before its too late!!

  11. Bless says:

    Paladin is a thorn. Can we let this company go please!!!!

  12. kwabaniso says:

    Dadadoma!!!!!! You will die coz of dyera la your chief kyungu

  13. Man to man says:

    Thats typical Malawians….waking up when the danger is at the doorstep.

  14. KINGSOLOMONS PALACE says:

    PALADIN SHOULD NOT BE CHASED AWAY IF THE COMPANY HAS CASE TO ANSWER.THE COMPANY MUST FIRSTFOOT THE WHOLE DECOMISSIONING COSTS,CLEANUP COSTS ,CONTAMINATION COMPENSATIONS AND ANY FUTURE FORSEEABLE DAMAGES AMONG OTHER CONTINGENCIES.

  15. JCinLA says:

    Treason. Treason. Treason.
    All their Directors and Owners must be charged with Treason. Nothing Else.

  16. Patriot says:

    Tinkati cha?
    Pano mukufuna kukumba mafuta mu lake malawi?
    Oil spillizachitika ndithu and
    Lake Malawi will die.
    Kamuzu posakumba izi iye anali chitsiru???
    SAY NO TO MINING IN LAKE MALAWI

  17. Bonface says:

    They should go we don’t want them in KA for they are killers

  18. NGOZO says:

    Kaya zanu izo atumbuka inu

  19. NYIKABOY says:

    MY PLEA IS WE NEED IAE AGENCY OF THE U N TO HELP MALAWI B4 THINGS GET OUT OF HAND.THE GOVERMENT IS SLEEPING BECAUSE THE SECRETIVE CONTRACT WAS SIGNED BY DPP GOVERNMENT DURING BINGU.SHAME ON GREEDY DPP.HAPPY LHM

  20. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    MY PLEA IS WE NEED IAE AGENCY OF THE U N TO HELP MALAWI B4 THINGS GET OUT OF HAND.THE GOVERMENT IS SLEEPING BECAUSE THE SECRETIVE CONTRACT WAS SIGNED BY DPP GOVERNMENT DURING BINGU.SHAME ON GREEDY DPP.

  21. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    I URGE FELLO MALAWIANS TO GOOGLE:”URANIUM FACTS AND HIDDEN DANGERS”

  22. jadabush says:

    Ndiye mukuti mwampez????!!!!!!!!!

  23. Elee says:

    What we need is oil. That’s the only way Malawi can develop. Not always talkin of farming until when ?
    Sitizatukuka pa Malawi.

  24. Newblood says:

    Pakufunika masovedwe a changu.

  25. dadaboma says:

    The people of KA will perish and become genetically disfigured. Uranium waste is a nasty radioactive material that kills secretly but surely and sometimes slowly over decades and millenia. The Fukushima incident in 1986 in Japan has killed and still kill and maim so many people in the vicinity of the Uranium Plant. Govt of Malawi will kill the people of KA for the money that the Karongans have no benefit from. And this govt, a tribalistic govt, will be happy that Karongans are dying; after all it is DPP govt that complained that KA and CP are monopolizing civil service top jobs and university places and justified the quota system on that basis. And yet the Kyungus are happy bootlicking the DPP govt because of their own personal benefit at the expense of the KA people. Karonga people let’s wake up and chase away Paladin. They’re not a blessing to us but a harm. Let’s ask TZ govt to annex us to TZ so that we can be relieved of the oppressive, discriminatory, tribalistic MW govt. Look, the DPP govt is using Paladin to kill us because they don’t want us. They’ll play down the threat posed by Paladin to KA so that we’re killed quietly. No, No, No let’s go to TZ to escape and to develop ourselves.

  26. we get nothing from uranium so tell them to leave our country safe

  27. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    PLS TAKE THOSE FISH TO MBS FOR TESTS.IF CONTAMINATED LEGAL ACTION MUST BE TAKEN.AS FOR THE EXPLOSION ,STAKE HOLDERS MUST BE INFORMED AND DOCUMENTED.THE DOCUMENTATION IS FOR FUTURE USE.THE MINISTRY OF MINES MUST WORK.

  28. NYIKA BOY says:

    ATUPELE MULUZI MUST WAKE UP AND SHOW US THAT HE IS WORTHY TO RECIEVE TAX PAYER MONEY WE NEED A WEL DOCUMENTED RESPONSE TO THIS MATER.INFACT IN MY FUTURE GOVERNMENT A SCIENTIST SHALL BE MINISTER OF MINES NOT A LAWYER WHO DOES NOT UNDERSTAND TECHNICAL /SCIENTIFIC MATTERS.MINISTERS SHOULD WORK AND NOT JUST LIVE IN OPULENCE WHILE WAITIN TO B SPOONFED BY US.PLS ATUPELE WAKE UP.

  29. NYIKA BOY says:

    IT IS NOT RIGHT FOR PALADIN TO TELL MALAWI THAT THERE IS NO CONTAMINATION.PALADIN MUST NOT TAKE UP ROLE OF JUDGE.IT IS MALAWI’S SUPERVISING SCIENTIST /MBS OR MINISTRY OF MINES THAT SHOULD TELL THE NATION.A BIG UP TO THE CSOs.WHAT IS MINISTER OF MINES-ATUPELE MULUZI DOIN ABOUT IT WE NEED TO HEAR FROM HIM.

  30. Mphwiyo says:

    DPP is back, they are back……………… sad, all are mercenaries…. thieves

  31. chicharito says:

    We have been saying this for a long time. A master racist with Caucasian behaviour refused last week through the media. Now nature has taken charge and exposed you. Let’s see if you can also refute this. Here we are now the tank has done its job and the lake is contaminated. Is this not enough evidence?. Just pack and go. We are tired ofpaladin.

  32. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    IF MALAWI BUREAU OF STANDARDS IS QUIET ABOUT THE UGLY DEVELOPMENT IN KARONGA,THEN THEY SHOULD AS WELL CLOSESHOP.KAPITO,WAS EAGER TO MARCH JUST 4 WATERBLUES.HOW MUCH MORE MUST KAPITO BE ACTIVE AGAINST SUSPICIOUS HARZADOUS ACTIVITY UNFOLDING IN KARONGA.THIS IS THE TIME MBS MUST PROVE ITS WORTH.IT IS NOW OR NEVER.BELIEVE ME THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO A COUNTRY-MISCONDUCT BY A URANIUM MINER.HAPPY LHM

  33. Mhesha says:

    Do not alarm people on issues that your are ignorant. There is a lot of exaggeration and interjections in this story typical of the way this company has been negatively treated since the onset by you Tumbukas…why can’t you yourselves wstart mining the Yellow cake if indeed you have the guts? Chamba basi!

  34. Mlomwe original says:

    Paladin wants to kill us all. if this is true,let them compensate us for contamination.A Malawi tisagone tiyeni tidzuke………!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. kadamanja says:

    Si izi tinkanena tulo a Malawi, tidwala ndife sopano. Stupid Walker and his company, F..K you! Pliz pack and go. Soon you will se xonophobia !

  36. Koolj says:

    I thought these guys were closing up due to finished uranium reserve! What r they doing now? Kayelekera mining has had negative impact on local malawian and they continue doing so! Cant we tell them to pack up and go downunder. We need our Bonya that is fit for consumption. Who is cheating who? Environmental hazard doesnt change its name!

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