Dar passes law on Uranium mining

Tanzania has inched closer to starting uranium mining after putting in place key legislations to control the business.

The move will now allow the Canadian based uranium firm, Uranium One Inc to start uranium production at Mkuju River project before the end of the year.

The Russian based miner Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ), which owns 51 per cent of Uranium One, bought Mantra Resources Ltd and its Mkuju River project in Tanzania last year and is going on with the project following the legislation.

The Mkuju River Project is to be completed in the first quarter of 2012 in accordance with a revised feasibility study.

The 2010 Mining Act and its regulations point out that the role of the government would be to control exploration, storage and export of uranium to avert smuggling into the black markets especially for manufacture of military weapons.

Uranium One is working on a project in south Tanzania, which it claims has an inferred mineral resource of 35.9 million pounds of uranium oxide, and Uranex’s project in central Tanzania has an estimated 6.7 million pound resource.

VP Dr Bilal
The two firms were among 20 companies licensed to explore for uranium in East Africa’s second largest economy.

Gharib Bilal, Vice President of Tanzania says that despite being hazardous, uranium has proven to be the most efficient and reliable source of energy that has contributed greatly in the industrialisation of the West.

“Nuclear power is the best non-renewable sources of energy produced using Uranium mined in different parts of the world,” said Dr Bilal.

Recent records show Tanzania has uranium oxide deposits of at least 54 million kilogrammes yet to be extracted.

There are three proposed key uranium projects countrywide namely Bahi North in Dodoma region, Manyoni in Singida and Mkuju River in Ruvuma region.

Tanzania also has diamonds, Tanzanite and coal. Mineral exports earned $1.08 billion in 2008, up from $983 million in the previous year.

The contribution of the mining sector to GDP is projected to grow to 10 per cent by 2025.
Source: The East African,www.theeastafrican.co.ke, reported by Mike Mande in Dar es Salaam
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