Paladin Energy Limited, a dual listed mining concern and owners of Kayelekera Uranium Mine (KUM) in Karonga says accountability and transparency are important parts of their sustainability principles.
KUM is owned by the minerâ€™s subsidiary, Paladin Africa Limited (PAL). Paladin Energy Limited chairperson Rick Crabb, in his address at the 2012 annual general meeting (AGM) in Australia, however, said it is rather unfortunate that the miner must spend a great deal of time dealing with â€œspurious unfounded allegationsâ€ made in purported news sites usually by people who are anti-mining, anti-uranium or are pushing some other vested interest.
â€œI wish to assure shareholders and other stakeholders, including the people of Namibia and Malawi that our company takes its responsibilities seriously. The good governance policies explained in the annual report and on the website are actively enforced,â€ he said.
Crabb said the companyâ€™s core focus over the past 12 months has been building on the foundations of sustainability of its business under extremely challenging market conditions.
In Malawi, the company has suffered heavy criticism over environment issues and alleged unfulfilled promises.
Last week, the Karonga Business Community and Karonga Youth for Justice threatened to hold a vigil, which was later cancelled, if PAL could not address several grievances, including water problems the community around the mine face.
The concerned groups also wanted Paladin to give a time frame when it will finalise all projects that non-government organisations (NGOs) claim were promised to the people of Karonga which include upgrading Karonga District Hospital to a referral one and maintenance of the water system.
PAL international affairs manager Greg Walker said all the issues were resolved at their November 9 meeting.
The depressed uranium price in the wake of the events in Japan in March 2011 has put significant pressure on the company, according to Crabbs, adding that this has concerned their investors and compelled them to closely watch and prudently manage their costs, debt and resources.
The uranium spot price recently declined to $40.50 per pound, its lowest weekly level since March 2010, but has since strengthened to U$41.80 per pound.