Paladin Energy says discharging water from a tailings dam at its Kayelekera Uranium Mine into the North Rukuru River, a source of water for people in the Karonga District in the north of Malawi, poses no human or environmental hazards.
All released water will be treated to meet local and internationally recognized standards, including World Health Organization drinking water guidelines for uranium content, the Perth, Australia-based company said in a statement published in the Daily Times newspaper.
“The process has been reviewed and agreed by relevant agencies of the Government of Malawi, which is imposing conditions regulating critical water quality parameters, including uranium, consistent with international guidelines,” according to the statement.
Civil society organizations, religious and traditional leaders published a statement last week claiming that the sludge contains heavy metals and other contaminants such as arsenic and chemical reagents used during the uranium milling process.
Paladin Energy plans to start discharging the water in early 2015.–Bloomberg