Uranium One sees building of Tanzania mine in 2013

Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:37am EDT
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* Tanzania to become Africa's 3rd biggest uranium producer

* Govt wants mining sector to contribute more to GDP growth

By Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

ARUSHA, Tanzania, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Uranium One's Tanzanian unit said it hoped to start building its Mkuju River uranium mine in 2013 and that, once completed, it would propel the east African country into the world's top ten uranium producers.

Mantra Tanzania's managing director Asa Mwaipopo said on Wednesday the Mkuju River project in southern Tanzania had an updated resource of 119.4 million pounds of uranium.

"It will take a two-year period for completing construction work before we start to produce uranium oxide. Tanzania will become number 3 in Africa in uranium production after Niger and Namibia," Mwaipopo told a mining and energy conference in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha.

"We think we can be the first uranium mine in Tanzania and position Tanzania into the top 10 uranium producing countries globally."

Toronto-listed Uranium One is the operator of the Mkuju River project, which is owned by the Canadian uranium producer's majority shareholder, Russia's JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ).

ARMZ acquired the Mkuju River project when it bought Mantra Resources last year for around $1 billion. Uranium One has the option to purchase the project and the company aims to buy the asset by mid-2013.   Continued...