AfricaPress-Tanzania: A URANIUM mining firm, Mantra Tanzania, is set to use an environmentally friendly an in-situ recovery (ISR) mining method for a Mkuju River project, as it increases economic potential of the project and makes it even safer for the environment.
Mantra Tanzania is a subsidiary of the Uranium One Group, operating at the Mkuju River Project in southern Tanzania.
“ISR is relatively known as the most eco-friendly mining method and it would be the best method of choice for our work in Tanzania because keeping the environment safe is one of our priority areas,” Managing Director of Mantra Tanzania Frederick Kibodya said in a statement.
According to him, ISR has gained traction in the exploitation of low-grade ore deposits and for its low production costs.
“Simply put the ISR technology can bring additional revenue to the country’s uranium mining in the future. In a broad sense, Tanzania will not only receive an advanced technology, but also a positive effect on the economy of the country,” the official said in a statement.
He said: “The Mkuju River Nyota deposit’s extraction philosophy was primarily based on open cast mining. However, positive hydrological studies and Push Pull testing have led to an increasing appreciation that the ISR potential of the deposit might be greater than previously thought.”
On challenges, Kibodya further said: “Uranium mining is a new concept to the Tanzanian mining authorities, as no ISR mining activities have been proposed in the country in the past.”
In addition, he said the project was situated within the borders of the world famous Nyerere National Park, making environmental protection a priority.
“As such, it has been and will remain important for companies to work closely with Tanzanian regulators. As the ISR mining proves to be more viable, it holds the potential to unlock the region as an ISR production centre. The Selous Basin is highly prospective for both stratiform and roll-front type uranium deposits and Mantra is well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity.”
He, however, said: “Today producing uranium in a safe and environmentally responsible manner is important for both: the world and Tanzania. Uranium mining remains controversial mainly to a legacy of environmental and health issues experienced in the very early phase of the industry.”
According to him, nowadays uranium mining is conducted under significantly different circumstances – it is the most regulated and one of the safest forms of mining in the world.
Advanced mining technologies achieve outstanding results in the field of safety and environmental protection.
ISR was developed independently in both the Soviet Union and the United States in the mid-1960s and it has remained safe, proven method that accounts for about 50 per cent of world uranium extraction.
“The technology has a very important role to play in national uranium mining.”