A Fight for the Right to Mine in Virginia
August 6, 2015
A mining company is looking to tap one of the largest uranium deposits in the world.
There’s one problem.
The deposit is in Virginia, a state with a long-standing moratorium on mining uranium.
Now the lawyers are getting involved. The mining company, Virginia Uranium Inc., is suing Virginia in hopes of getting around that moratorium.
It’s easy understand why. The company has put a market value of $6 billion on the deposit. It wants the courts to remove the ban that was implemented in 1982 so it can begin mining the 119 million-pound deposit near the North Carolina state line. The lawsuit says state officials came to the wrong conclusion when deciding the uranium posed an unacceptable health risk.
The company invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions, lobbying and travel to take state lawmakers to Canada and France to tour uranium mining and processing facilities.
However, the company is facing opponents who say the mining and the storage of radioactive waste is a threat to nearby rivers and streams that are used for public water supplies.
The uranium ban was established after mining companies expressed interest in suspected uranium deposits in the state.
There is obviously much that goes into the mining of uranium. Proper equipment is key and the correct procedures must be followed. It remains to be seen as to what happens as the result of this lawsuit.