Friday, January 24, 2014

Poor prospects for uranium mining in Black Hills, South Dakota


History shows uranium mine could face voter whims

 Argus Leader, 28 Dec 13  Statewide initiated ballot measures previously defeated plans to develop former munitions depot near Edgemont The opponents of a uranium mining proposal in the southern Black Hills say they have an ace in the hole if efforts to block the project at the state and national levels are unsuccessful.

That ace in the hole? The people of South Dakota.

The opponents of Powertech Uranium Corp.’s application to mine about 15 miles northwest of Edgemont have vowed that they will take the issue directly to the people in the form of an initiated measure. That would happen if Powertech wins the appropriate permits to begin a process known as in-situ leach mining.

It’s not an idle threat.

Three times in the past 30 years, opponents of controversial projects near Edgemont have collected enough signatures to force statewide votes. The results in each case have favored project opponents…….

Powertech has applied for a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to recover uranium at the Dewey-Burdock site, which was the location for uranium pit mining in the 1950s until 1973. The company also has applied with the Environmental Protection Agency for a permit to inject water used in the mining process into deep underground wells.