One more spill at Rio Tinto uranium mine

One more spill at Rio Tinto uranium mine

The Rossing uranium mine is the longest-running and one of the largest open pit uranium mines in the world, located in the Namib Desert.

A week before Rio Tinto’s (ASX: RIO) Ranger uranium mine in Australia’s Northern Territory spilled a million litres of radioactive slurry, a similar accident had happened at the company’s Rossing Uranium mine in Africa, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Rio’s second major radioactive incident this month occurred on December 3, after one of 12 leach tanks in the processing plant at Rossing, located in the Namib Desert, failed.

The company, however, did not say how much of the radioactive slurry – which, like the Ranger spill, also contained acid – was spilled.

What Rio did say was that some employees were treated at the scene for “minor” injuries and that there was no environmental impact. It added the leach tank had structural damage and that the company was investigating the cause of the spill.

A Northern Territory Environment Centre spokeswoman told ABC News that the situation was “very concerning.”

"Across two continents, within the same week, we have seen the same copy cat failure (…) It is just incredible that these types of incidents are happening on this scale," she was quoted as saying.