Paladin Energy Limited has said its water treatment plant at Kayerekera Uranium Mine (KM) in Karonga is being filtered with potable quality water discharged to the local mine water supply dam.
The dual listed firm, in its quarterly activities report ending March 31 2016 released on Monday, said the development follows the renewal of water discharge licence from the Malawi Government in January this year.
In the report, Paladin Energy chief executive officer Alexander Molyneux said the discharge off-site started in early February when the on-site storage dams reached threshold capacity.
“Following the highest February rainfall on record, the lime water treatment plant was brought back on line in late February to maximise the volume of water to be discharged from the site in conformance with the site’s water management plan and discharge licence,” he said.
Molyneux said the plant will be maintained until water inventories have been sufficiently reduced in preparation for the next wet season’s runoff flows.
Paladin has, for the past two years, come under fire from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) based in Karonga, who argued that the treated water would contaminate rivers and Lake Malawi in the district, which could impact negatively on people’s lives.
The report, which commented on a wide of range of issues, said exploration in the March quarter at KM continued with surface geophysical surveys, stream sediment sampling and geological mapping previously undertaken in areas around the mine.
The report said the company achieved 635 lost time injury (LTI) free days at KM) and 51 LTI free days at the Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM) in Namibia at the end of the quarter.
The report cited the company’s 12-month moving average lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) at 1.4 as compared to 2.1 at the end of the last quarter and 2.3 for the quarter to March 31 2015 and reported a one lost time injury at LHM where a truck driver sustained an eye injury when lime dust entered his eyes while offloading lime.
KM has, since February 2014, been put on care and maintenance due to a drop in the price of uranium on global market to around $35 a pound.