Comment on article Man loses sight due to Kayelekera radiation rshaba , 20 May 13, Does this mean that Paladin does not offer protective clothing including protective glasses to its employees? This is a no-brainer for someone dealing with radioactive substance business. I am shocked! It seems Paladin is taking advantage in people’s ignorance by not investing in appropriate protection especially for its front-line employees doing the “dirty” work. I could understand if it were a Chinese or Indian based company,
BUT Australian & Canadian based, my foot! Where are the government regulators? This should be a basic issue on their “checklist”: no protection and insurance cover for front-line staff, no business, simple and straight forward. The problem is that once someone has been exposed to radioactivity then whoever or whatever they come into contact with, will indirectly be exposed to radioactivity. Does the Government run regular radioactive on water, foods etc around the area? http://www.bnltimes.com/index.php/sunday-times/headlines/national/15108-man-loses-sight-due-to-kayelekera-radiation
Man loses sight due to Kayelekera radiation, SUNDAY TIMES, 19 MAY 2013 KAREN MSISKA It is all doom and gloom for a Kayelekera Uranium Mine ex-employee who has lost his sight, his job and any means of eking out a leaving to fend for his extended family.
On July 7, 2010, Abraham Siliwonde started working as a labourer at [Australian] Paladin Africa’s Kayelekera Mine in Karonga bubbling with hope that he would use the remuneration to improve living standards in his household.
But less than three years later, the 31-year-old, along with his six children and five wards from his deceased relatives, is a mere dependent on a small banana business his wife conducts at Karonga town market.
He lost sight in July 2012 and medical examinations have linked his condition, uveitis or inflammation of the uvea – the part of the eye that contains the iris and ciliary body and choroid – to exposure to radioactive chemicals.
Uranium ore is known to be highly radioactive.”In February 2012, I was moved to spotting. This is where one stands and guides the dumpers on where to drop the uranium ore from the pit as it is set to get into the crusher, the first point in uranium processing,” said Siliwonde on Friday.
“I was guiding dumpers carrying high grade uranium ore; the other grades are low and medium. I could feel intense heat from lumps of uranium ore and the next day I would be passing yellowish urine and feeling malarial symptoms.” He said regardless of the gear one puts on while at spotting, they feel the heat being emitted by the uranium ore, stressing “the situation is worsened by supervisors who keep people there longer than more productive.”
He said he was drafted into driving dumpers in January 2012 but by July, he had lost his vision and instead of working, he was a continuous visitor to health facilities seeking to restore his vision. ”After a series of visits to the mine clinic at Kayelekera, I was referred to Karonga district hospital where I was further referred to Mzuzu central hospital on 30 November 2012,” he added.
“At Mzuzu Central Hospital, they asked whether I had an eye operation before because they said my eyes had cracks. I underwent strenuous tests but after telling them the environment I was working in, they identified exposure to radiation as the possible cause and referred me to Kamuzu Central Hospital.”
According to medical documents The Sunday Times has seen, Siliwonde’s reference to Kamuzu Central Hospital’s Lions Sight First Eye Hospital was “to determine if patient’s condition may indeed be due to uranium dust exposure.” His situation was not improving even with spectacles. A reference report dated April 15, 2013 indicates that Siliwonde’s acuity (sharpness of vision) for both eyes had slightly improved to 6/36 from 6/60.
A report signed by Dr J Msosa, Chief Ophthalmologist at Lions Sight First Eye hospital, confirms exposure to radiation as the possible cause.
Part of the report reads: “The vitritis (posterior uveitis) may indeed be due to exposure to radiation. It is well known that all radioactive substances can cause radiation retinopathy which appears like posterior uveitis………
“The only source of income is a small banana business my wife conducts. It’s a pity that the situation at Kayelekera is not closely monitored. A lot of people are suffering because they are exposed to radioactive dust blowing from the pit area since the surface is not kept wet as per agreement.”
However, Paladin officials pushed the bucket to one of their contractors. In response to an emailed questionnaire, Paladin Energy Limited’s General Manager – International Affairs, Greg Walker, said Siliwonde was employed by one of their contractors at the mine. He added that the issue has not been brought to Paladin’s attention……http://www.bnltimes.com/index.php/sunday-times/headlines/national/15108-man-loses-sight-due-to-kayelekera-radiation
The UAE is a collection of seven emirates including Abu Dhabi and Dubai and has one of the least participatory political systems in the world. In the most recent national election in 2006, only 6889 people – less than 1 per cent of the population were entitled to vote, and they were hand-picked by the national rulers.
The uranium sale treaty currently before the Federal Parliament’s joint standing committee on treaties, states that the agreement “shall remain in force for an initial period of thirty years
The treaty would lock us in to supply uranium to the UAE irrespective of political changes or upheavals in the region
Think again, minister, on uranium deal with Emirates http://www.smh.com.au/comment/think-again-minister-on-uranium-deal-with-emirates-20130513-2jh5d.html#ixzz2TDVaKzxm May 13, 2013 Dave Sweeney
It might surprise many Australians to know that Foreign Minister Bob Carr is moving forward with a deal to sell Australian uranium to the United Arab Emirates – a country with an illiberal government situated in one of the most volatile and insecure regions in the world. Read more »
the grievances expressed by representatives of local populations in the mining zones and pastoral peoples as well as government representatives. Concerns relate to radioactive pollution, water resource depletion, work-related diseases for mine workers, and the appropriation of land and water resources, including legally enshrined common property regimes and pastoral territories, without required compensation.
It is widely acknowledged among government staff that the Nigerien government is not able to properly implement its environmental legislation and monitor the uranium mining industry.
Niger: Development Cooperation Must Support the Environmental Governance of Uranium Mining THE ISN BLOG, Rasmus K Larsen 2 May 2013 Niger’s new development strategy, the Economic and Social Development Plan, is also intended to guide international development cooperation. Environmental governance of uranium mining, the country’s by far largest single economic activity, appears hitherto to have constituted a ‘blind spot’ for environmentally oriented development cooperation. It is now time to remove the blinkers and include support to strengthen environmental governance of the mining sector in new programmes to assist Niger in meeting its development challenges
Niger is well known in international media as one of the world’s poorest countries, struggling with chronic structural hunger and malnutrition. UNDP ranks Niger 186 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index, and in 2011, five million people (33% of Niger’s population) were at ‘high risk’ to food insecurity.
What is less well known is that Niger also hosts the fourth largest uranium production in the world. Export values totalled over EUR 348 million in 2010, representing more than twice the total development assistance finance received during the same year. However, the state retains less than one fifth of the value of the uranium ore that is exported. The exploitation of the mineral wealth by international investors is expanding, with granted and requested mining concessions comprising close to 10% of the national territory…….
Attention to environmental impacts or risks associated with the mining sector goes seemingly without mention in the guiding documents of the principal development partners, including the EU, the World Bank, the UNDP, and the African Development Bank.
Severe environmental governance issues Read more »
Paladin says in one breath it paid over U$5.6 million in taxes to the Malawi government, and in its other breath through its published annual report, indicates it paid about U$9.3 million in taxes.
the British silently stole our uranium and left when their projections did not add up to their whims, and now we have the Aussies who are refusing to deal fairly.
Killing Malawians through the rotten extractives deals: The case of Paladin’s uranium mining http://www.nyasatimes.com/2013/04/24/killing-malawians-through-the-rotten-extractives-deals-the-case-of-paladins-uranium-mining/ Patricia Masinga, April 24, 2013 Malawi has in the few weeks been engaged by a plethora of stakeholders discussing strategies to revive, or more on the ground, reclaim the benefits that Malawians are been milked of by the so-called extractive industry multi-national corporations.
They call themselves investors, and government believes that the Malawi Development Goals (MDGs – who cares if it’s the second phase) will be boosted, particularly that mining alone through Kayerekera of Paladin Energy Limited group of companies (trading as Paladin (Africa) Ltd in Malawi?) could provide a large economic base.
But that is all a fat lie. Paladin and many other foreign multinational mining countries are least interested to contributing to the Malawi economic growth. They are here to milk the country – exploiting all that it has rich in minerals and dump us when the time is right even poorer.
Imagine, to screw Malawians of their rightful economic gains, the company, incorporated in Australia first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on March 29, 1994 under code ‘PDN’, and quickly changed its name from Paladin Resources NL to Paladin Resources Ltd in 2000 and listed under the Toronto Stock Exchnage (TSX) in Canada April 29, 2005, and again changed its name to Paladin Energy Ltd in November 2007 and listed on the Namibian Stock Exchnage on February 2008.
By such trends, one is compeled to question the motive, Read more »
Why Australia Fears the United States The Disaffected Lib, 14 April 2013 Since coming into existence in 1776, the United States has enjoyed just 21 “war free” years. The last four of those were under president Jimmy Carter who didn’t see much point in blowing other people, their kids and all their stuff into smithereens just to make a point. No wonder he was so reviled.
Since Bush/Cheney rode into Washington, the United States has become our world’s only true Warfare State. Obama, despite his claims to the contrary, has kept the tradition alive and well.
When Canadians consider our country’s relationships with America, we too readily forget that it is a true, warfare state. That affects the way it works, the way it deals with other countries like our own, and the decisions it takes for the future. If you have any doubt about this, read Andrew Bacevich’s The New American Militarism reviewed here and here and here.
The concept risks making the Chinese military an enemy.
The paper, written by the institute’s senior analyst for defence strategy, Benjamin Schreer, urges the Australian government to keep a cautious distance from the plan for now. Australia would likely play a role in the strategy, particularly with US Marines stationed in Darwin. The plan assumes any conflict between the US and China – most likely over Taiwan or Chinese skirmishing with Japan – would remain below the level of nuclear strikes.
But Dr Schreer writes that “such an outcome is far from certain”. Part of any US plan to strike at China would involve “blinding” the People’s Liberation Army by hitting its surveillance, intelligence and command systems.
This could provoke panic on the Chinese side and “consequently increase the chances of Chinese nuclear pre-emption”, he writes.
“AirSea Battle thus raises the spectre of a series of miscalculations on both sides if Beijing perceives conventional attacks on its homeland as an attempt to disarm its nuclear strike capability.”
The paper coincides with rising tensions between China and Japan over territorial disputes in the East China Sea, and between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea.
US military planners are developing the AirSea Battle plan in response to the shift in the strategic balance as China’s growing military might threatens to end more than half a century of US dominance on the western Pacific rim.
China’s long-range missiles, submarines and stealth bomber squadrons could soon threaten US bases and aircraft carrier groups in the region, potentially deterring the US from coming to the aid of Taiwan or Japan in the event of a conflict.
The plan sees US forces withstanding the first round of Chinese attacks, then carry out their “blinding” campaign. US carrier battle groups would then hit Chinese missile launchers. Meanwhile, US submarines and long-range missiles would strike at the Chinese airforce. The US could also blockade oil supplies and other resources – likely with Australian help.
While Australia would inevitably be drawn into any such conflict, the institute urges the government not to publicly endorse the plan for now, but rather demand a clearer explanation of how Washington would enact the plan, and its political goals. “[It] risks making the Chinese military an enemy” when the US, Australian and allied grand strategy is ”aimed at integrating Beijing in a co-operative Asian security order”.
Malawi to renogotiate with Paladin on the Kayerekera uranium deal http://www.malawitoday.com/news/128733-malawi-renogotiate-paladin-kayerekera-uranium-deal 14 April 2013, ZODIAK RADIO Malawi has finally succumbed to pressure from activists to start re-negotiating with Paladin Africa Limited on the Kayerekera Uranium deal in a last ditch attempt to create a win-win situation.
First on the proposal is to remove the confidentiality clause on the agreement such that it be made public before rectifying other strings within the deal.
Minister of Mines Mr John Bande confirmed that discussions are underway with Paladin Africa Limited on the matter.
“We are working out on modalities to discuss in public the agreement between Kayerekera and the Malawi Government,” said Bande.
Bande blamed the previous regime for putting a confidentiality clause on the license. “Now government is working to remove that clause so that the deal can be discussed in public,” said Bande.
Critics have continuously called on government to re-negotiate the license, saying Malawi is getting a raw deal from it.
Issued in 2009 the Kayerekera uranium mine license is for a period of 15 years and is subject to renewal.
The license among others also allowed the miner to open an off-shore account.According to the deal, Malawi was meant to be collecting a meager US$ 100 million in taxes annually from the deal.
How, then, are we to explain Australia’s relative inaction when it comes to supporting moves to denuclearise the Middle East? The only plausible explanation is the close relationship with the United States. Australia’s political leaders appear unwilling to say or do anything that might be construed in Washington as conflicting with US priorities and preferences.
What might a more independent Australia do to promote a Middle ……East WMD-free Zone? Four modest but important initiatives suggest themselves. The first would be a prime ministerial statement strongly supporting the establishment of such a zone and explaining how this objective is in line with Australia’s security and economic interests…….
Despite Australia’s obvious national interests in the Middle East, our leaders have been strangely silent about the alarming security threats in that region, write Joseph A Camilleri and NAJ Taylor.
Weapons of mass destruction – biological, chemical and nuclear – are once again buzz words in the international corridors of power. In Australia, North Korea has attracted media headlines, but the more disturbing and far less predictable situation unfolding in the Middle East has yet to receive the attention it deserves.
The unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iran nuclear dispute, Western-led interventions, popular uprisings, conflict in Syria, and actual and potential regime changes have combined to create a highly volatile and dangerous security environment in that region. Read more »
With the world on alert, experts say North Korea does potentially have the capability of hitting Australia with a missile – but only if they’re very lucky.
University of NSW Professor of International Security Alan Dupont recently told defence correspondent Ian McPhedran that North Korea had only a “rudimentary” intercontinental ballistic missile system.
“The capability is pretty rudimentary and has more to do with pretence than substance,” he said.
North Korea declares it has given approval for a nuclear attack on the United States VIDEOSand GRAPHICS
- From: News Limited Network http://www.news.com.au/world-news/north-korea-gives-final-approval-for-nuclear-attack-on-united-states/story-fndir2ev-1226612136732
- April 04, 2013
- North Korean army says it has ‘final approval’ for nuclear attack
- United States to move anti-missile system to Guam
- Two advanced missile destroyers moved closer to North Korea
NORTH Korea says it has approved a nuclear attack on the United States in its latest threat as US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Pyongyang to back down. Read more »
There is growing belief among some sections of the society that Malawi is losing out on the Kayerekera mining and have since called on the government to renegotiate the deal.
Leader of Malawi’s opposition People’s Transformation Party (Petra) Kamuzu Chibambo — who is also a prominent lawyer— said unless the deal were renegotiated, Malawi would continue to lose out in the mining sector and called upon all Malawians to galvanise their voices to press government to enter into negotiation with the miners.
Paladin has MK3.9bn environmental bond for Malawi uranium mine -Walker, Nyasa Times, 3 April 13, Australian Miner Paladin Energy Limited, operators of the Kayerekera Uranium Mine in Karonga district have a US$10 million Environmental Performance Bond with two commercial banks in Malawi to among other things cater for rehabilitation costs for signs of default during and after mine life.
“Paladin has a MWK 3.9 Billion (US$10 Million) Performance Bond in place to satisfy the environmental obligations of Clause 18.14(a). This comprises a US$ 5 Million Performance Bond with Standard Bank Limited and US$ 5 Million Performance Bond with Nedbank Malawi Limited,” Paladin General Manager for International Affairs Greg Walker toldNyasa Times in an email response.
The bond, in the form of irrevocable letters of credit, will deal with issues like water and environment contamination and the eventual clean up.
A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase.
The bond further obliges the company to sensitize people on the potential dangers associated with radioactive substances and prevention procedures. Read more »
Paladin has MK3.9bn environmental bond for Malawi uranium mine -Walker Nyasa Times
April 3, 2013 “…... Nach Sale Says: Ngoma, you cannot take away the fact that western investors are highly exploitative and their governments hypocritical. They talk about the the mathematics and accounts of investment but at the end of the day they benefit more and their governments take that same money and give us as aid.
”When the carbon tax goes, all of those bureaucracies will go and I suspect we might find that the particular position you refer to goes with them,” Mr Abbott told Macquarie Radio on Wednesday. Read more »
Ben Zygier didn’t betray his country. Ben Zygier was betrayed. Between his two home countries, he was placed in a situation he couldn’t deal with.
Israel allowed itself to cross three boundaries: a Mossad man was asked to retain Australian citizenship – leading to a dual-loyalty dilemma; the identity that he was instructed to use as a cover was his real Australian identity; and, worst of all, he was sent to operate in his homeland.
The prime minister must send a letter to the Zygier family – that have been broken by their son’s breakdown – saying, “Your son was not a traitor.”.
Ben Zygier was no traitor, he was betrayed, Haaretz, 22 Feb 13, By Sefi Rachlevsky He wanted to contribute to Israel and did not mean to betray both his homelands, or his father for that matter. Israel cast him into a situation from which he could only be liberated by death..
… The fundamentals of its [Israel's]power have not changed since David Ben Gurion established them: might, the support of friendly powers, the mobilization of world Jewry that can also influence their home countries, and the memory of the Holocaust. But the Zygier affair highlights how in an existential moment, Israel isn’t “only” immoral, but tramples arrogantly over these fundamentals without observing any boundaries…..
Ben Zygier: the silence surrounding Prisoner X The Conversation, Felix Patrikeeff 22 February 2013, When Melbourne man Ben Zygier, an alleged agent of Mossad, or perhaps a double agent, died in December 2010, his end was barely perceptible.
He had been held anonymously in solitary confinement at a high-security prison in Israel. A notice of his death appeared on the Internet, and then promptly disappeared. His name was not made known at the time.
It had to be secured by Australian investigative journalists. Read more »