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SD uranium mine opponents want more info released

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RAPID CITY (AP) — Opponents of a proposed uranium mine in western South Dakota want more information released to ensure local aquifers are protected.

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The Clean Water Alliance said a detailed geological survey could show threats to local aquifers if the project is approved.

"The public, the parties and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have a most basic right to know what the company knows," Lilias Jarding said in a statement.

Powertech Uranium Corp. President Dick Clement told the Rapid City Journal that the information is "insignificant" in terms of how the uranium process at the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine would actually work.

The company plans to use a method that would pump groundwater into the underground ore deposits to dissolve the uranium. The water would be pumped back out, where the uranium would be extracted.

The demands by the Clean Water Alliance to see the survey comes as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to hold hearings later this month in South Dakota.

The mine, which would sit within an 11,000-acre site near Edgemont, is projected to recover 1 million pounds of uranium annually for eight years.

Mining opponents say the mine could pollute or drain the region's aquifers.

The mine's proponents point to the dozens of jobs it would create and the addition tax revenue it would create for the state.

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