Tanzania Government Prepares Licenses to Mine Uranium

The Tanzania government announced that licensing of uranium mining will be made only after a Mining Development Agreement (MDA) is signed later this year. Hence allowing mining firms already on site to be fully operational.

The process was delayed by the late presentation of mining procedures to the government. It is expected to be signed in three months.

The signing of the MDA will result in the issuing of uranium mining licenses to other investors in the industry. This would allow construction plant projects to start, especially those regarding Russian mining firm JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ).

The government is in the final negotiation phase with ARMZ.  The license will allow the firm to construct a plant for the uranium mining site in Mkuju River, southern Tanzania.

In October 2012, Tanzania issued an Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate in respect of the Mkuju River Project. This permits the Russian firm to start uranium mining in Tanzania.

The issuance of the certificate represents a significant permissions milestone.

According to the 2012 Mining Act, extraction of uranium ore will be carried out under the strict control of the government of Tanzania. The corresponding ministries and departments will provide safety during extraction of deposits in Mkuju River Project, to minimise possible contamination of the environment.

According to Prof Iddi Mkilaha, Director General of the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania has put all precautions into consideration. It is fully prepared in administering and monitoring the entire process to ensure safety of the general public and environment.

In addition, TAEC is expecting to host experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in April this year to have their recommendations.

The Tanzania government expects to generate direct and indirect cash flows in excess of TZS 1 Trillion (USD 640 Million) during the life span of the new uranium mining slated for this year.