UCIL intends to set up uranium processing plant at Mawthabah

SHILLONG: The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) is planning to set up a processing plant at Mawthabah in connection with uranium mining.
As per the official website of UCIL, the Kyelleng-Pyndengsohiong, Mawtahbah uranium project (KPM uranium project) tops the three projects listed by the corporation.
Under Kyelleng-Pyndengsohiong, Mawthabah uranium project, Meghalaya, the website says: “The sandstone hosted ore body at Killung and Rangam in West Khasi Hills is the first of its kind to be discovered in the country.”
Commenting further, the website says: “UCIL has planned to construct open pit mines at this site and a processing plant at Mawthabah. Infrastructure development and some welfare activities have already been taken up. Site activities are expected to start soon.”
Fresh protests have erupted from anti-uranium groups against the tender notice issued by UCIL on July 2 for Expression of Interest as preparatory step for mining of uranium.
As per the July 2 tender notice, the Chairman and Managing Director, Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), a Government of India Enterprises, under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy, is planning to set up open-pit mine and processing plant of uranium ore in South West Khasi Hills district.
There is also protest against a two-lane road project from Wahkaji to Mawthabah which – the anti-mining groups allege – is to facilitate uranium mining.
However, another section of pressure groups from West and South West Khasi Hills had welcomed construction of the road minus uranium mining.
According to the State government, the construction of the road has nothing to do with uranium mining.
After the meeting with the pressure groups on      Friday, the State government had asked UCIL to stop all pre-mining activities as highlighted in the July 2 tender notice even as the government decided to write to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways regarding the two-lane road project from Wahkaji to Mawthabah to know whether the construction of the road has any connection with uranium mining.

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