Dar to sign Uranium deal with Mantra Ltd

Tanzania will sign an agreement with Mantra Tanzania Ltd to start mining uranium at Mkuju in the Selous Game Reserve.

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, said last week that the agreement will be signed before the end of June. This, he said, will pave way for the company to develop the first ever uranium mining project in Tanzania, expected to generate in excess of $640 million per annum.

“The state will make sure that all other remaining issues to be signed including the Mining Development Agreement (MDA) are finalised before the end of this financial year” he said.

The project is owned by Mantra Tanzania Ltd and operated by Uranium One Inc of Canada and its parent, Russian state-owned nuclear enterprise, JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ).

According to Mr Nyalandu, the extraction of uranium will take place in an area covering 350 square kilometres within the Selous reserve in the heart of the southern Tanzania tourism circuit.

Mantra obtained the environmental impact assessment certificate for the project in October 2012 following approval by Unesco’s World Heritage Committee for the minor boundary modification of the World Heritage part of the Selous Game Reserve.

Mineral resource estimates for the project, as of November 2012 specified measured and indicated resources of 35,900 tonnes of uranium oxide, inferred resources of about 10,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.

But the extraction of the minerals would result in production of 60 million tonnes of radioactive waste during its 10-year lifespan and up to 139 million tonnes of uranium if a projected extension of the mine is implemented.

SOURCE: The East African