Coloradoans Against Resource Destruction (CARD) formed in 2007 in response to Powertech Uranium Corporation's mineral rights purchases in Weld County for their Centennial Project. Since that time, at least five other mining companies have become interested in Weld County’s uranium reserves: Black Range Minerals, Geovic Mining Corp., Placer Energy, Contex Energy Co., and Energy Metals Corp. a division of Uranium One.
Powertech Uranium, a Canadian firm, informed local residents via certified letter in October 2006 that it intends to mine uranium U308 utilizing in-situ (in place) mining technology to extract the radioactive element. This process is occurring or proposed in a number of other states (Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming).
Powertech Uranium Corporation filed a report that also shows their intent to mine uranium using conventional (open-pit) mining (see page 32 of http://www.powertechexposed.com/Centennial43-101.pdf). The open-pit area would take place 7 miles from Fort Collins, within 20 miles of 275,000 residents.
The in-situ leaching process is a cheap method of extracting uranium from low grade ore deposits that the uranium mining industry claims is environmentally benign. This method works by injecting chemically charged native ground water into the element bearing porous sandstone aquifer causing the uranium to dissolve in the ground water. This solution is then pumped to a centralized facility to extract the uranium from the solution. Stripped of uranium, the groundwater is then recharged and reinjected starting the process over. The in-situ leaching process requires large amounts of water.
The known dangers of the in-situ leaching technology are:
- The risk that deadly, radioactive leaching compounds will spread outside of the uranium deposit and contaminate Front Range water supplies, (as has been the case in other areas where uranium is mined);
- The unpredictable impact of the leaching solution on the rock formations;
- The release of considerable amounts of radon;
- The extraction other toxic heavy metals needing disposal;
- The impossibility of restoring natural groundwater conditions;
- The disposal of radioactive waste water and slurries.
Right now, Weld County residents need technical, political, legal and environmentalist support. We also need courageous elected officials to invest themselves candidly, bravely and immediately in defense of the physical and emotional health and fiscal welfare of their constituents. Other communities have pulled together to prevent uranium mining from destroying their local economy, water, health, and environment It will take a group of concerned citizens working together to stop the uranium rush into Weld County.
Contact your representatives and ask them if they will defend what is left of our precious natural resources and Colorado’s outstanding reputation for quality of life.