Uranium mine to make Tanzania a top producer
A licence has been granted by the Tanzania government for a major new uranium mining project in the southern part of the country which is set to boost inward investment. A new uranium mining project in Tanzania could contain at least 36,000 tonnes in deposits and place the country among the top five for producing the chemical element.
Mantra Tanzania Ltd, which has been operating in the country since 2010, has been granted a licence by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to build and operate the Mkuju River uranium mine in southern Tanzania.
The company is the Australian subsidiary of AtomRedMetZoloto (ARMZ), a Russian mining firm and the Tanzania mine will be operated through Uranium One its Canadian arm.
It is believed the annual extraction rate could be 14,000 tonnes of the radioactive element. Construction on the underground mine began last year after a provisional licence was granted in December, but will take two years to finish.
This could mean that Tanzania will supersede Canada as the world’s second biggest uranium producer. The number one producer is currently Kazakhastan which currently commands 36 percent of the world’s production and mined 19,451 tonnes in 2011.
Canada produced 9,145 tonnes or 17 percent and officials at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals are confident Tanzania would be producing more than that.
It is hoped the ambitious project will be a major boost for foreign direct investments as it is expected to bring in $448 million, create 1,600 jobs during the construction phase and eventually add $249 million in annual revenues.