19 November 2012

Tanzania: Mkuju Uranium Project Secures NEMC Approval

Photo: Daily Nation
A mine site in northern Saskatchewan. Tanzania.

MANTRA Tanzania Limited has received an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate from the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) for its Mkuju River Uranium Project in Namtumbo District, Ruvuma Region, marking a significant milestone towards commencement of the project.

The company had already submitted an application for a special mining licence to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

NEMC Principal Environment Management Officer, Mr Kamugenyi Ruteganya, said NEMC has already completed a technical review of Mantra Tanzania's EIA by a Tanzanian consultancy firm, MTL Mining and is now satisfied by the work done and the document that had been submitted.

"The documents submitted by Mantra Tanzania meets our environmental standards. We have already issued an EIA certificate for the company's Mkuju River Uranium Project and our challenge now is to ensure that whatever is in the certificate is implemented.

"Our role is to ensure that mining companies operating in Tanzania including Mantra comply in full to all general and specific conditions of the EIA in order to ensure best practices and sound environmental management".

He said NEMC will ensure that safety of the surrounding communities is given first priority before and after commencement of the project in a bid to minimise risks, added. Mantra Tanzania Managing Director Asa Mwaipopo when contacted said, "The EIA certificate is a crucial step in the mine's permitting process and a pre-requisite in obtaining of a special mining licence".

"This really demonstrates the support the project has received from both the Government and surrounding local communities. Mantra together with its investors Uranium One are responsible operators and will operate with strict emphasis on compliance and best environmental practices," Mr Mwaipopo said.

He said the Mkuju River Project had an updated resource of 119.4 million pounds (54 159 tons) of uranium adding that it will take up to two years to complete construction work for the project.

The development of the Mkuju River Project will apart from attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth over 1 billion dollars in Tanzania during the life span of the mine but also generate direct and indirect cash flows to Tanzania worth 640 million dollars.

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