Paladin reports spill at Malawi mine after minor storm

7th January 2015 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – Uranium miner Paladin Energy has launched protection and remediation procedures at its Kayelekera mine site, in Malawi, after heavy rainfalls resulted in minor damages.

The miner said on Wednesday that a minor storm earlier this week had resulted in some 25 mm of rain falling at the site. The resultant surge of stormwater caused the liner in the plant run-off tank to rupture, releasing up to 500 m3 of material to the bunded areas of the site.

Paladin said that up to 50 l of this material could have overtopped one of the containment bunds, owing to the nature of the rainfall event.

Besides the remediation measures, the uranium miner had also launched a sampling programme to analyse water from the local stream system, to confirm that no contamination had occurred.

Paladin recently threatened certain nongovernment organisations (NGOs) in Malawi with legal action, after they implied that the company had begun discharging waste materials from the Kayelekera mine into the local river systems.

The miner had previously announced plans to start the controlled release of surplus water into the local river systems in early 2015, and had modified a section of the treatment plant at Kayelekera to allow treatment to meet local and internationally recognised discharge standards.

The Kayelekera mine officially ceased production in May last year, and was placed on care and maintenance. Paladin also owns the Langer Heinrich mine, in Namibia, which is operational.