Oaks clear-cut by Aussie-owned uranium mine halted

One of the oaks felled without permit by Berkeley Minera uranium mining operation. Photo: Salamanca24horas
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• Activists, NGOs say oaks crucial to habitat of bird species in Natura 2000 zone
• Open-pit uranium mining operation is subsidiary of Australia’s Berkeley Energy

A judge in Salamanca has halted the wholesale clear-cutting of oak trees at the site of a controversial uranium-mining facility run by the Spanish subsidiary of self-described Australian “clean energy” company, Berkeley Energy.

The felling of the oak trees as part of the construction of an open-air uranium mine operated by Berkeley Minera España, a wholly owned subsidiary of Australia’s Berkeley Energy, has been denounced by the local Plataforma Stop Uranio, as well as Spanish environmental NGOs Ecologistas en Acción and WWF España. According to the organizations, the area is home to several endangered bird species and falls within the Red Natura 2000 special nature conservation zone established in 2015 along the Yeltes river specifically to protect the bird habitat in the area.

The Salamanca court order puts the uranium mining operation on temporary hold in order to study the permit issued to Berkeley by Spain’s Interior Ministry in September 2015, which has been under review since April 2016 by Spain’s central High Court, the Audiencia Nacional.

► Read More in Spanish at Salamanca24horas and El País …

► Read More in Spanish at Stop Uranio activist Jesús Cruz’s blog, here …

► Read Ecologistas en Acción statement in Spanish, here …

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