Paladin Energy Limited has downplayed a Nyasa Times report that the floods terror in Karonga have resulted in the flooding of Kayerekela Uranium Mine tailing dams, a development that has sent shivers of apprehension among water users in the district.
Nyasa Times correspondent in Karonga reported last week that the uranium stakeout dams at Kayelekera were flooding and were releasing toxic materials into the environment.
The flooding forced out contaminated water to Sere River, a tributary of Rukuru River that runs down to Lake Malawi.
However, Paladin Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Molyneux described the reports as “untrue” arguing that despite the heavy rains in the district the dams cannot flood.
In a letter addressed to Paladin Limited stakeholders and also made available to Nyasa Times, Molyneux argued that the designers of the dams anticipated such situations and took measures to prevent disaster.
“The Company assures stakeholders that no tailings water has been released into the environment at Kayelekera Mine.
“Water inventory in the Kayelekera Mine tailings storage facility increased due to the heavy rainfall events. However, the freeboard levels remain within the approved operating design criteria and this facility continues to be actively monitored and managed,” reads part of the statement by Paladin.
Meanwhile the Advocacy Campaign for Inclusive Extractive Industry in Malawi under the Church and Society in the Synod of Livingstonia has asked the office of Karonga District Commissioner (DC) to investigate on the flooding of the dams.
Karonga DC Rosemary Moyo assured the District Civil Protection Committee during an emergency meeting on Wednesday that she will send some people to the site to carry out an investigation.