New uranium mine in central Europe?

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Although the Czech taxpayers, with support of the European ones, in case there are subsidies from Brussels, still have to pay tens of billions of Czech crowns for remediation of uranium mining and processing sites in the Czech Republic over the past few decades, there are serious proposals for a new uranium mining project. Prime Minister Sobotka and Minister of Industry Mládek launched reflections on opening uranium deposits in Brzkov and Horní Věžnice close to Polná in the Jihlava region, which are expected to total 3,100 tons of uranium. In order to keep Czech uranium mining industry operating.

In autumn, the government is going to deal with the economic analysis which is being prepared by the state-owned enterprise DIAMO that does uranium mining. In any case, the opening of the mine would require state support. The exploratory shaft in Brzkov is filled up and flooded with water. Two million tons of ore for processing should be transported to the existing treatment plant GEAM in Dolní Rožínka. However, the capacity of a tailings pond to store sludge and other waste from the treatment will be depleted there. The state-owned enterprise DIAMO does not have any own resources for investments in preparations for mining, and neither has for the reconstruction of the tailings pond.

The new director of DIAMO Rychtařík has already publicly confirmed what we have been saying over the last few years - uranium mining in the Dolní Rožínka, our last operational mine, is not profitable and shall end within two years. Metal content decreases, the reserves mined expensively at great depths diminish as well (about 200 tons of uranium is harvested per year) and the current spot price of US$ 35 per lb U3O8 together with prospects do not give any chance of profitability.

Considering the Czech government enthusiasm for nuclear, we can not expect them to weigh the hard economic numbers and use common sense. Therefore, citizens of Brzkov are starting a non-governmental organization "Our future without uranium" and with the Calla's support they are holding the first talks and other public activities, so that they are ready to defend their interests. Uranium mining is definitely not among those.

Edvard Sequens, Calla



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