Mantra Resources will begin uranium mining in the Selous Game Reserve at the end of next year. The Australian mining company will be operating in the south of Tanzania on a UNESCO heritage site, the second largest wildlife sanctuary in the African continent.
The actual mining will take place in the southern part of the Selous Game Reserve which has about 24.4 million kg of uranium oxide deposits.
The Tanzanian Energy and Minerals Minister William Ngeleja said that the Australian company must meet conditions imposed by UNESCO before mines can open. These include conducting environmental and social impact assessments and securing authorisation from regulatory bodies.
Ezekiel Maige the Tanzanian Tourism and Natural Resources Minister said that UNESCO Heritage Committee that met in Paris recently gave the project conditional approval. Ezekial Maige has featured in this blog recently - it was he that announced last week the plans to build a road through the Serengeti Park which is another UN heritage site - something that environmentalists have said would disrupt the annual migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra. Plans are also afoot to build a soda ash plant at Lake Natron in the north of the country, the only nesting ground for flamingoes in east Africa.