Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Little Missouri River still at risk to Australian uranium miners

The divide between the Little Missouri and the Belle Fourche drainages is not very wide: less than a mile just west of the Missouri Buttes. At that location it's not difficult to visualize how the Clovis People migrating into the region some 12,000 years ago seeking shelter and food sources found their way into lands free of glaciation. At least 23 prehistoric sites near Devils Tower National Monument, some of which are archaeological treasures eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, are also at risk to an 8000-acre expansion of Australia’s largest US aquifer uranium mining operation.

Now another uranium mine planned by a foreign company in the headwaters of the Little Missouri River about 20 miles north of Moorcroft, Wyoming threatens native heritage sites.
Strata Energy, the US subsidiary of Australian Peninsula Energy is looking to ramp up operations at the Lance Projects.Strata hopes to bolster domestic uranium production. The Lance Projects lie in Crook County. Inside the area are the Ross, Barber, and Kendrick projects. At the Ross Project, Strata Energy is in the process of testing a different type of uranium mining. Acid leaching is widely used across the globe in countries like Australia and Kazakhstan. The World Nuclear Association says 96 percent of uranium in 2015 was mined through acid leaching. Lilias Jarding is with the Black Hills Clean Water Alliance. She’s concerned about the shift in operations, and what it could mean for groundwater in the area. “The process is similar to alkaline in situ leach uranium mining and that’s part of what worries us,” Jarding said. “They both happen in the water supply and leave it polluted.” [KNBN teevee]
Restoring the dignity of endangered cultures is one tiny part of eliminating suicides and despair in South Dakota and Wyoming.

Wildlife corridors over public and private land to the Fork Peck, Crow, and Northern Cheyenne nations then into Wyoming's Thunder Basin National Grassland (where this proposed mining expansion is located) and beyond to North and South Dakota would help create the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

ip photo: Missouri Buttes and Devils Tower at sunset. Click on the image for a better look.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anyone may comment but please use a handle so the blog author can respond effectively; bot verification is enabled. Thank you for visiting.