Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Citizens’ Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle
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THE IMPACT OF URANIUM MINE TAILINGS

by William Nelson

I have been an independent Environmental researcher for the past 37 years dealing with many environmental issues, and Uranium mine tailing pollution is on the very top of the list.

As you know, mining operations involve large scale excavation and movement of soil and rock which unavoidably lead to significant impacts on our surrounding natural environment. At present, the technologies used today to combat this is only an attempt in solving problems associated with Uranium mine tailings and have shown to be unreliable at best.

My research has led to the development of a reliable technology that would significantly minimize airborne Radon emission and toxic elements from leaching into the water table. Environmental maintenance is vital, and the implementation of this technology would be a benefit to the community in the event we encounter the consequences of a Uranium Mine.

One of the most damaging impacts of mining operations is the exposure of minerals to the open air and water where they become vulnerable to acidification and release harmful contaminants. This is known as acid mine drainage which is the creation of acidic conditions through the exposure and oxidation of sulfide minerals at a mine site. Sulfide minerals and associated acidity can be found in many mine components such as waste rock, or tailings from mill processing.

Acid drainage can leach from many types of processed oars and base metals, in this case, Uranium mine tailings. Mining companies attempt to neutralize mine tailing components by the addition of limestone or other neutralizing minerals, but the fish and animas die anyway, not to mention the airborne Radon Gas and particulates forced down our throats. Children and old people are most vulnerable. In order to prevent water acidity and Radon from entering our biosphere, both water and oxygen must be isolated from the mine tailing components to prevent sulfide oxidation and air pollution.

A preventive approach would be to treat the tailings prior to spreading them on the surface and then we wouldn’t have these Environmental issues. This technology is at our finger tips and if implemented, our grandchildren will not have to deal with the legacy that will be left by the mining giants if not implemented. I am deeply saddened to think that out precious community could turn out to be another Elliot Lake. SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE