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Public Hearings held in Trud i Znaniye village, Zverinogolovsky District, Kurgan Region
Public hearings on the proposed economic activity materials and preparation of technical specifications for “Uranium ISR Experimental Industrial Plot at Dobrovolnoye Deposit” draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) were held in the village of Trud i Znaniye of Zverinogolovsky District, Kurgan Region. Residents of the district introduced their own additions and comments to the submitted draft documents and expressed support for the activities of Dalur, JSC (being a part of the control loop of the ARMZ Uranium Holding Co./Mining Arm of the Rosatom State Corporation).
Over 120 locals attended the hearing, which proves their interest in the early commencement of works and, at the same time, in compliance with environmental legislation and the maximum mitigation of adverse environmental impact. “I am very pleased that such a major enterprise is at all stages listening to our opinion and taking it into account. When Dalur was preparing to conduct environmental monitoring, any resident of our villages could specify a location of sampling and be present at such sampling. Therefore, any misrepresentation and violations were excluded. Now, everyone is able to openly make their proposals to the documents necessary for qualitative preparation of the EIA. This eliminates any concerns. Currently, most people have no doubt about the reliability and security at all stages of the production chain. Development of Dobrovolnoye Deposit will give new impetus to the development of our region, significantly decreasing unemployment and replenishing local budgets. Our village will once again become prosperous, and people will stop leaving it with their whole families, endeavoring to come here to live a decent life,” said Farid Valeev, a resident of Zverinogolovsky District, in his address.
As we have informed, Dalur, JSC received the right to use the Subsoil plot of Federal Importance (Dobrovolnoye Deposit in Zverinogolovsky District) by order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1131-r, while the Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency issued the relevant license for subsoil use. The company is currently developing two deposits - Dalmatovskoye in the district bearing the same name and Khokhlovskoye in the Shumikhinskiy District. The phased commissioning of Dobrovolnoye Deposit will enable the company to increase production of the resource being requisite for nuclear power industry of Russia.
Keynote speech at the public hearings was made by Nikolay Poponin, Director General of Dalur, JSC. He presented the Declaration of Intent for the construction and operation of uranium ISR experimental industrial plot at Dobrovolnoye Deposit. Nikolay Poponin presented the project area topographic layout, talked in detail on the wells construction technology, demonstrated productive solution, which will be injected into the ground. “The technology of the wells construction and production, geological and hydrogeological conditions of the deposit - first and foremost, depth and isolation of ore-bearing formation from the overlying horizons, - preclude productive solutions from getting into the river Tobol and groundwater. The productive (leach) solution, which is used in deposit refining, is not concentrated sulfuric acid, as one could assume. Sulfuric acid content in our solution totals to only 0.5 -0.6 % or 5-6 grams per liter. To make it clear: this solution can be almost fearlessly spilled, for example, on your hand. And it won’t severely damage your skin. If there are any scratches, it might feel a little achy. But please don’t do this. But still, it's not even a solution that is contained, let’s say, in car batteries (which when spilled would eat through your pants) but a much weaker one,” - noted Director General of Dalur, JSC.
Pensioner Natalya Tarasova, a resident of Zverinogolovsky District, supported the speaker. Dalur, JSC is a strategic enterprise operating for the benefit of our country, and it means each and every one of us. And it will not allow doing any harm to the environment, let alone the people. I say this because I know the subject matter well enough. For a long time, I was working as a hydro-geologist at mining enterprises of our country. But I have never seen such a modern and environmentally friendly enterprise as Dalur. People here really care about the environment. I don’t doubt the safety of operations at Dobrovolnoye, and many people, and I among them, would like to be engaged in the development of the deposit.
Another opinion on the project was given by Pavel Ptitsyn, Chairman of the Regional Association of Agricultural Enterprises. “For us, the people working in agriculture, it is especially important to care about nature and environment. We will continue to cultivate wheat, breed sheep and support this project, which will help the development of our small motherland.”
Nikolay Poponin also said that payments to the budget and off-budget funds during development of the deposit will amount to approximately 25 billion rubles, and up to 350 Zverinogolovsky District locals will be engaged in the project. The average salary at the enterprise today is about 40 thousand rubles per month. Hiring will begin when the EIA is prepared and the project passes the state examination.
Technical specifications for the EIA were submitted by Yury Zasypkin, Chief Safety Inspector of Dalur, JSC. During the hearings, the locals made suggestions and additions that will necessarily be taken into account. In particular, Gregory Kolevatov suggested: “Personally, I understand that any impact on aquifers is completely excluded. The bottom and the sides of the ore body are isolated with rock bed and the former river, and from the top it is protected with multimeter layers of brick-type clay. However, in order to avoid any doubt, I propose to supplement the EIA with sections on the protection of the subsoil and aquifer systems, monitoring and forecasting of the impact on aquifers.” Regional Duma deputy Anatoly Kandalov proposed to debunk another myth - about the impact of uranium mining on the growth of morbidity: “I visited Uksyanskiy and went to the very site of Dalur. The level of radiation there is natural, lower than, for example, in Moscow and in St. Petersburg on the granite embankment. To avoid any remaining doubts, let's include a requirement on statistical research concerning morbidity in the project areas of Dalur, JSC, Zverinogolovsky District and average indicators for the Kurgan Region.”
“Further, we'll be gathering for public discussions more than once at each stage of planning and carrying out the activities of Dalur, JSC. I hope for the same activity of my fellow villagers, which will help the enterprise to plan and carry out operations, excluding any adverse environmental impact, for the benefit of the Zverinogolovsky District of the Kurgan Region and our country as a whole,” said Kamila Zhimbaeva, Chairman of the Public Hearings, acting Head of the Educational Department of Zverinogolovsky District, in her closing remarks.