Tanzania to Mine Uranium Soon
Source: AfricaNews, Sam Banda, Jr. (7/28/09)
". . .Tanzania has about 53.9 million pounds of uranium oxide deposits."
The country's Energy and Mineral Minister William Ngeleja was quoted as saying that mineral exports earned Tanzania $1.08 billion in 2008 from $983 million in the previous year.
Countries like China, USA, Turkey and Japan have also taken much interest in investing in the mining sector in Africa.
Media reports in the country quoted Ngeleja as saying that Tanzania has about 53.9 million pounds of uranium oxide deposits.
According to Ngeleja, two companies are expected to start mining uranium by 2011.
"Mantra Tanzania Limited is expected to start mining uranium by 2012; Uranex Tanzania Limited. . .expects to start producing the mineral in 2011," said the minister.
According to Reuters, Ngeleja said the two were among 20 companies licensed to explore uranium in Tanzania.
Tanzania the second-largest country in Africa and East Africa's second-largest economy is also said to have other minerals among them diamond and coal.
Gold is also said to dominate the country's mining sector and that Tanzania is the continent's third-largest producer of the precious mineral.
Tanzania's gold industry was reborn in 1999 and has dominated the mining industry. However, uranium and nickel are the other minerals the country wants to strengthen.
Because of significant exploration successes and government investment incentives, Tanzania's mining sector has been playing an increasingly important role in the economy.
The value of output in the mining sector grew by 13.9% in 2000, 9.1% in 1999, and 27.4% in 1998.
Meanwhile, the country is also reported to be working on a new mining law—after 10 years of review—aiming to increase the sector's economic contribution, change ownership rules and increase royalties paid on minerals like gold and diamonds.