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Kyrgyzstan intends to lift ban on development of uranium deposits

28 February 2024 23:30 (UTC+04:00)
Kyrgyzstan intends to lift ban on development of uranium deposits

It is planned to lift the ban on the development of uranium and thorium deposits in Kyrgyzstan. The bill initiated by the Cabinet of Ministers has been submitted for public discussion, Azernews reports, citing 24.kg news agency.

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision notes that the current law is aimed at protecting public health, land, water bodies, flora and fauna, as well as radiation and environmental safety in the country. But its entry into force has aggravated «the negative consequences of international and national crisis phenomena for the economy and development of the country as a whole».

These phenomena and their consequences, officials said, could not have been foreseen at the time of the law’s development and adoption.

«In particular, the legislator could not foresee the negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the introduction of large-scale financial sanctions against the Russian Federation, one of the largest trading partners of the republic,» the background statement says.

It is noted that Kyrgyzstan’s economy is in dire need of other sources of income. Mining and exporting uranium and thorium have the potential to become important components of Kyrgyzstan’s economy, the Cabinet believes.

Officials promise that government agencies will take measures to minimize the damage of uranium and thorium mining to the environment and public health. In particular, they will introduce strict environmental norms and standards for subsoil users, regularly monitor the impact of uranium and thorium mining activities on the environment and public health, and train industry workers.

Earlier, the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov commented on the project on the development of Kyzyl-Ompol uranium deposit. He urged not to be frightened when it comes to uranium, it is necessary to know the types of uranium and understand at what level it begins to be dangerous.

«Our uranium is raw material and is not dangerous in that state. We have to worry about uranium that has been enriched for certain purposes. That is the kind of uranium that poses a threat. At the same time, we must be careful and refrain from claiming that our uranium is absolutely harmless. Once it is separated during storage and transportation, of course, we must be very careful. Specialists must be maximally vigilant in this matter,» the head of state said.

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