Editorial: Uranium mine would reopen Navajo wounds

"Uranium, which has been blamed for lung cancer, kidney disease, birth defects and other ailments, is being touted once again as a savior to the regional economy, bringing in thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in mineral royalties and taxes for New Mexico.

At least five companies hope to receive state permits to mine uranium reserves — estimated to be 500 million pounds or more — and one company wants to reopen a uranium mill in Ambrosia Lake, north of Grants.

Uranium Resources Inc., a Texas-based company, wants to reopen the mine at Ambrosia Lake, which is not on Navajo land. Officials have said the tribe's ban on uranium mining might limit the company's plans to mine, but will not stop it.

If Uranium Resources Inc. (URI), or any other company is allowed to mine for uranium, it is important that they do so with more than the result of financial success the company will receive. They must do so responsibly, making every effort to ensure the safety of those who live near the mines.

They must acknowledge the distrust the Navajo people have in companies and a government that did little to protect them from the hazards of working in the mines. They must listen to those who suffered major health problems and deaths they believe were caused by uranium. They must share how they plan to protect not only those who work in the mines, but the environment as well."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Reopening a mine also can reopen wounds (The Farmington Daily Times 4/6)

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