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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jakai kandau

Muisova nokha

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… Read more »
Political Analyst

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!


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.




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


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


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

Nyasa weni-weniyo

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


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

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