USA: Settlement between The Navajo Nation, USA, Cyprus Amax & Western Nucleur will cleanup 94 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation

Author: The United States Department of Justice, Published on: 17 January 2017

The United States and the Navajo Nation have entered into a settlement agreement with two affiliated subsidiaries of Freeport-McMoRan, Inc, for the cleanup of 94 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation. Under the settlement, valued at over $600 million, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company and Western Nuclear, Inc., will perform the work and the United States will contribute approximately half of the costs... funds are now committed to begin the cleanup process at over 200 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation... will clean up almost twenty percent of the abandoned mines on the Navajo Nation...EPA’s cleanup efforts have generated over 100 jobs for Navajo citizens and work for several Navajo owned businesses.

This settlement agreement resolves the claims of the United States on behalf of EPA against Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear; of the Navajo Nation against the United States, and against Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear; and of Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear against the United States. Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear agree to perform removal site evaluations, engineering evaluations and cost analyses, and cleanups at the 94 mines. In return...the United States, on behalf of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy, agrees to place $335 million...to help fund the cleanup. 

In April 2014, the Justice Department and EPA announced in a separate matter that approximately $985 million of a multi-billion dollar settlement of litigation against subsidiaries of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will be paid to EPA to fund the clean-up of approximately 50 abandoned uranium mines in and around the Navajo Nation, where radioactive waste remains from Kerr-McGee mining operations.

*Sourced by RepRisk due diligence on ESG and business conduct risks, www.reprisk.com.

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Related companies: Anadarko Cyprus Amax Minerals (Part of Freeport-McMoRan) Freeport-McMoRan Kerr-McGee (now part of Anadarko) Western Nuclear (Part of Freeport-McMoRan)