PR:The Ministry of Industry has admitted: a statement about the cancelled plan to transfer uranium mining to Brzkov was untrue - Residents of municipalities threatened by uranium mining await a challenging year

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Joint press release of associations Our Future Without Uranium and Calla - Association for Preservation of the Environment dated January 2, 2017
http://www.calla.cz/index.php?path=hl_stranka/tiskovky/2017&php=tz170102.php

The Ministry of Industry has admitted: a statement about the cancelled plan to transfer uranium mining to Brzkov was untrue

Residents of municipalities threatened by uranium mining await a challenging year

Industry Minister Jan Mládek claimed in March 2016 that he cancelled the uneconomic plan to transfer uranium mining from Dolní Rožínka to Brzkov [1]. As was confirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) now, it is not true, and an approval process to allow the state to extract this small uranium deposit in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands still continues [in Annex]. Residents and representatives of municipalities of Brzkov, Věžnice, Přibyslav and Polná, who would be the hardest hit by possible extraction and transport of uranium ore and who do strongly disagree with this intention, expect a challenging year in which they will have to defend their public interest in maintaining a healthy environment for living.

At the beginning of 2017, there will probably be a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process for a new draft Raw Material Policy of the Czech Republic which was prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The draft Raw Material Policy intends to significantly transform the post-November 1989 course in the gradual phasing out of problematic uranium mining and open a new mining of other uranium deposits, first in Brzkov. After the final verdict of the Ministry of Environment, the Policy will be approved by government [2].

In the first months of 2017 the Ministry of Environment will also take a decision on the request of the state enterprise DIAMO to establish "Exploratory areas for prospecting and exploration of the exclusive deposit of radioactive minerals in Brzkov", which was filed in November 2016. However, since the project is inconsistent with currently valid Raw Material Policy of 1999 that does not include the new uranium mining, the establishment of exploration area will hardly be allowed.

In the first half of 2017, the Ministry of the Environment will also decide on a substantial expansion of the protected deposit area (CHLÚ) in Brzkov. The administrative proceeding was initiated in February 2015 at the request of DIAMO, but was adjourned because the Ministry can not rule in favor of miners without prior establishment of exploration area and reserve recalculation.

DIAMO has already commissioned the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) documentation of the uranium mining in Brzkov. It's done since July 2016, and the process should be initiated as soon as they acquire the above-mentioned decision.

Another planned project of additional geological survey for a mining exploration stage on Brzkov deposit has been carried out, but may be submitted for approval only after a possible extension of the protected deposit area. By the end of 2017, the Minister of Industry should submit to the Government an evaluation of preparatory process for mining and a proposal for further progress towards a decision.

The real state of preparation for mining in Brzkov described in response by MPO [in Annex] points to the distorted information that the Government received from the Ministry of Industry in December 2014, and on the basis of which the Government allowed to spend considerable resources for the preparation of mining [3]. Another false information in the documents, received by the ministers, was concerned with the economics of mining, unemployment assistance or securing energy self-sufficiency, which should be brought by opening a new uranium mine [4].

Edvard Sequens of Calla said:"In Dolní Rožínka, the last deep uranium mine in central Europe has stopped operating. We need to focus all the attention and financial resources on quality and quick cleanup of the extensive damage that's left after the uranium industry and not to prepare new mining. Mayors and residents near Brzkov who are trying to prevent new mining will continue to have our admiration and full support."

Lucie Drahošová Stránská of association Our Future Without Uranium said:"Surely everyone expects of 2017 that this new year will bring a pleasant and joyful moments. From the perspective of our association, however, we already know that it will bring us a lot of work and probably a few unpleasant moments - full of fear. We will not be able to rest, but on the contrary, it will be necessary to mobilize residents to active resistance, so that our disapproval was heard and it was clearly understood that our opinion is not the opinion of a few individuals, but the majority opinion. "

Further information can be provided by:

Annex:

MPO: Disclosure of information to Calla under the Act no. 106/1999 Coll., On Free Access to Information dated December 12, 2016

Notes:

  1. For example, MPO press release of March 16, 2016: "The Ministry of Industry and Trade refuses inducing a hysteria around Brzkov", see http://www.mpo.cz/cz/ministerstvo-prumyslu-a-obchodu-odmita-vyvolavani-hysterie-kolem-brzkova--171103/
  2. Background information and results of the first stage of the SEA process on the "Raw Material Policy of the Czech Republic in the area of Mineral Resources", see http://portal.cenia.cz/eiasea/detail/SEA_MZP244K
  3. MPO document "Report on the proposal of further advancement in uranium mining of the Rožná deposit in Dolní Rožínka and prerequisites for further possible uranium mining in the Czech Republic", which was discussed by the Government on December 22, 2014
  4. Joint press release of associations Our Future Without Uranium and Calla - Association for Preservation of Environment dated December 12, 2014 called “Will Government unblock the way to a new uranium mine?", See http://www.nuclear-heritage.net/index.php/PR:Will_Government_unblock_the_way_to_a_new_uranium_mine%3F
  5. For protection against automatical email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace "AT" by the @-symbol and "DOT" by the dot-character (".").
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