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Tribe, Others Can Weigh Permits For Mine

August 8, 2010, 6:24 PM

EDGEMONT, SD - The Oglala Sioux Tribe and others have been named official parties in the permitting process for Powertech Uranium Corp.'s proposed mine near Edgemont.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed Friday that the tribe, three individuals and two citizens' groups raised valid arguments about the Dewey Burdock project and would be allowed to weigh in. Powertech wants to inject chemically treated water into holes to dissolve the uranium, then pump out the solution and collect the uranium for processing. Company representatives say the process is safe.

But some environmental and American Indian groups fear it would harm underground aquifers and disturb sacred and burial sites. The land is about 60 miles from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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