16:01 / 11.09.2023

Uzbekistan granted €9 million to close former uranium mining and processing facilities

Work on the reclamation of abandoned objects will transform the territory into an environmentally safe one and prevent toxic materials from entering the rivers of the Fergana Valley.

The Environmental Remediation Account for Central Asia (ERA) has awarded a €9 million grant for the remediation of former uranium mining sites in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan has become the second country in the region to carry out rehabilitation activities within the framework of the SER, managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UzNews.uz reported with reference to the bank’s press service.

The grant funds will be used to support the closure of identified workings, the demolition of abandoned facilities that were used for processing uranium ore, as well as the reclamation of individual areas of waste rock at the Yangiabad and Charkesar mines.

The first facility is located 75 km east of Tashkent. There are seven mines scattered across the mountainous terrain around the city of Yangiabad. After reclamation, this area will become environmentally safe, which will support the livelihoods of the population and the development of tourism.

The Charkesar-2 mine is located 140 km east of Tashkent and 60 km west of Namangan. The contaminated area of approximately 25 hectares contains five already reclaimed waste rock dumps and two abandoned mine shafts.

Currently, the ERA has allocated funding for the remediation of five of the seven high-priority uranium legacy sites in Central Asia (two of which are in Uzbekistan and three in Kyrgyzstan).

In addition to mandatory site reclamation and demolition of industrial buildings, activities supported by the ERA will help prevent toxic materials from entering the river system of the Fergana Valley, home to more than 15 million people.

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