Recent reports have indicated that uranium deposits have been discovered in the Tanzania mining sector and that the country is preparing to begin mining these deposits by the year 2011.
African News reported the Tanzania Minister for Energy and Minerals, William Ngeleja, as having indicated through other sources that there are approximately 53.9 million pounds of uranium oxide deposits available in the country.
As a result of significant successful exploration expeditions as well as government investment incentives, the country’s mining sector has become increasingly important to the overall economic standing of the country.
In recent years, earnings mineral exports from Tanzania have witnessed an increase from USD 983 billion in 2007 to USD 1.08 billion in 2008 due, in part, to the fact that countries such as China, the USA, Turkey and Japan have demonstrated their interest in investing in the African mining sector.
To this end, Mr. Ngeleja has said that the country is expecting to welcome to new companies to the mining sector by 2011, with the purpose of working with the newly discovered uranium deposits.
“Mantra Tanzania Limited is expected to start mining uranium by 2012,” said Mr. Ngeleja, “Uranex Tanzania Limited … expects to start producing the mineral in 2011.”
Currently, Mantra is involved in a project in South Tanzania, in which it has said that there is an inferred mineral resource of uranium oxide amounting to 35.9 million pounds.
At the same time, the current project for Uranex, which is located in the center of the country, amounts to approximately 6.7 million pounds of the oxide.
African News went on to report Mr. Ngeleja as saying that these two companies were included in a total of 20 companies that Reuters has listed as licensed to explore uranium in the country.
Tanzania, which represents the second largest country on the African continent and the second largest economy in East Africa, is reported to have access to other minerals as well, including diamonds, coal and gold.
Overall, the sector is currently being dominated by gold, which is represented by the fact that Tanzania is the third largest producer on the continent of this precious mineral.
However, in recent years, Tanzania has been looking to strengthen its position in the mining industry by exploiting its potential with Uranium and Nickel.
At the same time, in an effort to increase the economic contribution of the mining sector, change the rules of ownership and increase the amount of royalties that are paid for minerals such as gold and diamonds, the country is currently in the process of developing a new mining law.