Press center menu
Commissioner for Human Rights in Buryatia Yuliia Zhambalova Visited Facility of Khiagda during Business Trip
Yuliia Zhambalova was accompanied by Anton Budunov, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources of the Republic of Buryatia and Chairman of Committee on State Policy of Natural Resource Management, by Zhargal Dondokov, Deputy Head of Administration of Bauntovsky-Evenki District, and Aleksandr Budayev, Chief Expert of Burprirodnadzor.
Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Buryatia and the accompanying persons visited the plot of forest with the area about 300 m2 near the industrial facility, where a peat fire supposedly took place. No traces of chemicals or liquids were found in the supposed accident place. Earlier, the forest area was visited by experts of Prosecution Office and Rosprirodnadzor, which performed the required sampling.
Yuliia Zhambalova thanked the enterprise management for their openness and promised to explore the situation without prejudice. «During the recent weeks, a lot of various rumors on Khiagda have been presented in mass media. I came here therefore to see everything with my own eyes. We made relevant requests to all supervision agencies. Now, we are expecting the results of official examinations to ensure maximal accuracy and objectiveness relating to the issue».
The representatives of authorities of the Republic of Buryatia visited the main process building, the sulfuric acid plant, and the mining sites. They saw all stages of producing the finished product, the ammonium polyuranate (yellow cake) with their own eyes. The management of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. and Khiagda, JSC told them about the main production processes.
«In-situ leaching (ISL) technology is based on the use of weak sulfuric acid solution (below 2%), which is pumped through ore body to dilute the uranium contained in the ore without diluting the ore body itself. Then the pregnant solution is brought to the surface to extract the strategic metal. The closed cycle of solution circulation in the depths of earth is provided by the geological structure of Khiagda ore fields. The ore bodies are located in ancient river paleovalleys within a sandy production level on impermeable granite foundation. Above the ore bodies in the sandy level, several natural aquicludes of impermeable argillaceous rocks are formed. In the upper part of the geological cross section, the whole sandy mass is covered with impermeable basalts, up to 120 m thick. The geological structure of the paleovalleys prevents therefore the process solutions from spreading beyond the ore body,» said Anatoly Mikhailov, Director General of Khiagda, JSC.
Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Buryatia made sure for herself that the sulfuric acid solution used on the mining sites is weak and not hazardous to health in case of contact with hands skin. Yuliia Zhambalova put her finger into the solution. Her skin did not even turn red. A dosimetrist attending the production facilities during the visit did not detect any excessive background radiation in the process of dosimetry.
Victor Svyatetskiy, First Deputy Director General of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co., said that Khiagda, JSC uses environment friendly ISL technology of uranium mining. According to geological prospecting data, the total potential capacity of Vitimsky uranium ore district provides possibility of further enterprise development for the nearest 100 years. «On Khiagda deposit, we mine strategic materials to support defence potential and energy self-sufficiency of our country,» Victor Svyatetskiy emphasized.
Anatoly Mikhailov, Director General of Khiagda, JSC, said that the uranium production enterprise belongs to the ten major taxpayers of the Republic of Buryatia. The enterprise renders extensive assistance to the administration of Bauntovsky-Evenki District in social project implementation within the framework of a cooperation agreement. Since 2016, more than 40 social initiatives were implemented with financial support of Khiagda, JSC on the territory of its presence. They included reconstruction of a well in Malovsky settlement, repair of municipal boiler plants and heating systems, purchasing of a water carrying vehicle for Maly Amalat settlement, repair and filling of roads within settlements, purchasing of equipments for child day care centers, installation of playground equipment and many other activities.
«This year, our Company will allocate RUB 6 million to social projects. This provides us with an additional possibility to help the district with implementation of its plans and goals,» noted Director General of Khiagda, JSC. In 2021, the Company has already allocated the funds for arrangement of the driving range of Bauntovsky branch of the Baikal Subsoil Use College. The plans also include construction of a school sports ground and installation of central park fence in Bagdarin, purchasing of equipment and furniture for Ust-Dzhilinda Secondary School, as well as new computers for the school in Romanovka village.
In his turn, Zhargal Dondokov thanked Khiagda, JSC for its extensive assistance in resolving socially important issues in the district within the framework of a cooperation agreement.
Anatoly Mikhailov noted «Khiagda, JSC is a responsible user of natural resources. Our enterprise takes annual compensatory reforestation measures. While RUB 20 million have been allocated thereto in 2021, this amount will be RUB 30 million in 2011 and as large as RUB 80 million in 2024.»
The Company management asked the authority representatives, mass media, and public to rely only on proven facts and official research data.