In November 2019, Strata’s Ross Project (also part of their “Lance Projects”) began the first acid leach uranium mining operation in the country, just 10 miles west of Mato Tipila / Devil’s Tower near Oshoto, WY.
Acid leach means the company is pumping SULFURIC ACID directly into the aquifer to extract the uranium. Acid leach uranium mining leads to more heavy metal contamination, increased mechanical failure and increased sulfate levels, which will continue to produce acid at the site for forever. Read more about acid leach mining here.
In July 2019, Oglala Sioux Tribe Tribal Council passed a resolution to pursue legal action against this project. In August 2019, Rosebud Sioux Tribe passed a resolution against the Strata Ross Project. To date, no legal action has been taken against this project.
Since September 2018, Wyoming has had Agreement State status with the NRC, so regulation of radioactive activities like uranium mining sits with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, not with the federal government.
This project sits at the headwaters of the Little Missouri River. Despite Strata’s racist cultural appropriation with their Little Missouri Headwaters Cultural Heritage Project, to date, Pte Oyate Tribal Nations with connections to this vast area of spiritual sites, both above and below ground, have not been contacted or consulted about this project or others in WY. Headwater protections are included in the treaties.