Letter to the Editor: Nov. 3

Dear Editor:
Uranium companies are having problems since the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident began. Locally, Powertech Uranium company – which has several properties along the western Black Hills – has problems. Instead of starting their uranium mining project in Colorado, they’ve put it on hold and closed their office there, mostly due to persistent citizen, medical, and government resistance to their plan. Their stock price dropped from a high of $4.45 per share to 9 cents a share. Somebody lost a lot of money on that one.
In addition to their stock price, the price of processed uranium (“yellowcake”), which topped out at $138 a pound a few years ago, is now down to $52. This makes it a lot harder for a company to make money, if they got mining started – if they could get the necessary government permits. Powertech has found that difficult, too, because the company has had a hard time responding to safety questions from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Since the type of radioactive mining they want to do can’t be done without polluting water – permanently – this difficulty is understandable. The project would also use up billions of gallons of our precious water.
The company has also apparently closed their Hot Springs “exploration office.” A citizen check of the address given on the company website found no sign of the company in what otherwise appeared to be an apartment building.
People here need to do what people did in Colorado – oppose the proposed mining project – and protect our water and our future from a company that’s financially unstable. We don’t want them to start mining, run out of money, and leave us with the mess, like other companies have done.
Lilias Jarding
Rapid City, SD