LPM threatens legal action over uranium mining
The company intends to conduct in-situ acid leaching if it is given the go-ahead to mine in the area. Headspring discovered uranium reserves with a potential life of mine of approximately 25 years.
The method has been criticised over fears that it could potentially contaminate groundwater resources extending from Namibia into Botswana and South Africa.
The party’s head of its human rights desk, Joyce Muzengua, said the potential damage in-situ acid leaching could cause necessitated their attempts to get the exploration activities called off.
“We are going to call on the cancellation of the prospecting certificate with immediate effect. The reports that have been provided on investigations that were conducted attest to the fact that mining must not be done in that region by all means,” she said.
LPM will write to world leaders and civil society organisations in an effort to stop the proposed mining, she added.
“The scale of the damage which will be done is not only in Namibia but also at a regional level, and if we damage this aquifer, we will be held accountable by the governments of Botswana and South Africa because we are damaging a resource they also use.”
International support sought
According to Muzengua, letters have been drafted to United States president Joe Biden, speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, the European Union, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi.
“We wrote letters that will call on solidarity from the international world and to our domestic political counterparts to supplement to our efforts to bring the mining of uranium in the Omaheke Region to a halt.”
In-situ leaching, also called in-situ recovery or solution mining, is a process used to recover minerals such as copper and uranium through boreholes drilled into a deposit, in situ. It works by artificially dissolving minerals occurring naturally in a solid state.