AKIPRESS.COM - A contract for remediation works in Shekaftar in the Kyrgyz Republic has been signed, said the EBRD.
The mining complex includes three closed mines and eight mining-waste disposal areas that contain about 700,000 cubic metres of waste from mining operations. Radioactive waste-rock dumps, scattered around the village and next to a school, pose a risk to public health.
Once a thriving community based on uranium mining, today, due to its geographical position near the border with Uzbekistan and to the closure of the mines, Shekaftar has an unemployment rate of 70 per cent. The first remediation works will focus on the closure of six shafts and the relocation of five waste-rock dumps to an existing dump at a more remote location.
The EBRD established the Environmental Remediation Account for Central Asia (ERA) in 2015 at the initiative of the European Commission, to assist the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in remediating some of the most dangerous sites left by uranium production in these countries during the Soviet era.