Argentinian senator expresses opposition to Canadian miner's uranium exploration

Argentinian senator Magdalena Odarda expressed her opposition to Minera Cielo Azul’s activities around the protected area of Bajo Santa Rosa y Bajo Trapalcó, located in the southern border of the Negro river in the Río Negro province.

Odarda asked the provincial ministry of environment to disclose information about the company’s exploration activities. Such activities were confirmed in five sites which, she says, have paleontological significance due to the presence of dinosaur and marine reptile fossils. The senator also worries about the environmental effects of such activities.

“In Argentina, there are several sites where uranium was mined and there was no remediation afterwards. In other words, dangerous particles of this metal continue to be disseminated in those areas. Even the National Commission of Atomic Energy has acknowledged that large amounts of waste from uranium mining should be properly disposed and this hasn’t been done,” she told local news agency Adn Río Negro (in Spanish).

Odarda says that residents of nearby Patagonian towns oppose the miner’s operations, but their protest has been dismissed by both the local and the federal government. However, the ministry said that no one has complained about the presence of heavy machinery, nor about the initial soil movement carried out by Cielo Azul.

Minera Cielo Azul, a subsidiary of Canadian Blue Sky Uranium (TSX.V: BSK; FSE: MAL2.F; OTC: BKUCF), recently launched this exploration campaign at its Amarillo Grande project to prove up resources and outline economics. According to the company’s website, the plan is “to capitalize on its early-mover advantage with the goal of becoming the first domestic supplier of U3O8 to the Argentine nuclear industry.”

Defined mineralization at Amarillo Grande is found at the Ivana, Anit, and Santa Barbara properties along a 140-kilometre trend. Mineralization at all three sites occurs at or very near surface, in weakly-cemented host rocks, making open-pit mining a likely development scenario.