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Mine Risk Management > Politics

Berkeley reiterates local support

Berkeley Energia (AU:BKY) has hit back at news that it is facing opposition to its planned Salamanca uranium mine in Spain.

Staff reporter

Mine Risk Management > Politics

Berkeley reiterates local support

Berkeley Energia (AU:BKY) has hit back at news that it is facing opposition to its planned Salamanca uranium mine in Spain.

Staff reporter

Berkeley reiterates local support

Berkeley says the Salamanca mine will provide employment to the area

Villavieja de Yeltes mayor Jorge Rodríguez has called on people to join a demonstration against the project this Saturday, with concern over the project's proximity to the town.
 
However, Berkeley reiterated to Mining Journal that it has a good relationship with the municipalities, as stated in its recent quarterly report.
 
It said it is developing the project to the highest health, safety and environmental standards and any "claims of studies suggesting there is any kind of environmental concern have been comprehensively rejected by both the courts and the government agencies".
 
Berkeley managing director Paul Atherley said the company has openly addressed any legitimate concerns of opposition groups and stakeholders, with strong support from locals, the government and the broader community expected to prevail. 
 
"We are extremely encouraged by the support we have experienced in the region: from the government, as evidenced by the more than 110 permits and favourable reports; the press, who recently said we would end unemployment in the region; and local residents, around 25% of which have applied for jobs with us," he said.
 
The Salamanca project will add 450 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs to the region, which has one of the highest levels of unemployment in Europe.
 
"The residents of Villavieja are overwhelmingly in favour of the mine. The population has fallen 75% to around 400 residents, of which 110 have applied for jobs with Berkeley. The company is already training and employing many of them and by next year expects to have 80 of them in full time employment," it said.
 
The company has also signed cooperation agreements with municipalities, under which it will provide Wi-Fi, build playgrounds and repair sewage work. 
 
Berkeley signed a US$120 million funding package with the Sultanate of Oman in August to take Salamanca to first production, with early site work underway.
 
The project is expected to produce an average 4.4 million pounds of uranium a year over 10 years at a cash cost of $13.30 per pound.

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