PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Uranium miner Paladin Energy has reported a uranium oxide (U3O8) spillage near its Kayelekera mine, in Malawi.
The ASX- and TSX-listed miner reported on Monday that the incident was minor and that it occurred during the routine transportation of U3O8 concentrate for export through the Port of Walvis Bay, in Namibia.
A truck carrying a single container of concentrate toppled on its side about 8 km from the Kayelekera operation. A spill response team recovered the container, with Paladin noting that a small quantity of concentrate had also been recovered from the scene, along with soil which had come into contact with the product for disposal at the Kayelekera tailings storage facility.
The accident site and the surrounding area were subjected to a radiological check to ensure that it was thoroughly cleaned, while the container has been taken back to the product packaging compound at Kayelekera and was awaiting repacking into a new container.
Paladin pointed out that this was the first incident involving a U3O8 concentrate container to occur in 92 product shipments transported from Kayelekera to the Port of Walvis Bay.
Earlier this month, Paladin suspended production at the Kayelekera mine, saying the operation was a severe drain on the company’s finances in the sustained low uranium-price environment.
As a result of shuttering Kayelekera, the company revised downwards its full-year output guidance to between 7.8-million and 8-million pounds of U3O8, from its previous guidance of 8.3-million to 8.7-million pounds.