Friday, November 30, 2012

Mantra Tanzania takes uranium sensitization drive to Songea

Mantra Tanzania Managing Director Asa Mwaipopo
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Mantra Tanzania takes uranium sensitization drive to Songea

By Staff Reporter, Songea.

MANTRA Tanzania has conducted a uranium awareness seminar in Songea to sensitize members of the Ruvuma Regional Consultative Council (RCC) on uranium development and the Mkuju River Project located in Namtumbo District, Ruvuma region.

The seminar that was officiated by the Ruvuma Regional Commissioner, Hon. Said Mwambungu attracted other stakeholders from Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC), National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) and Mantra Tanzania.
Speaking during the event, the Mantra Tanzania Managing Director Asa Mwaipopo said the seminar is part of the company’s awareness drive that seeks to create awareness on uranium mining amongst to the public.

He said uranium produced from the Mkuju River Project will be used for peaceful purposes in fulfillment to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which Tanzania is a signatory. “The main peaceful use of uranium in the world is in production of uranium fuel used for producing electricity from nuclear reactors.  Currently, there are 437 Nuclear reactors in the world which produce a total of 375, 000 Megawatts of electricity and that is about 15% contribution to the total world electricity production.”

 “Nuclear energy is clean, statistically proven safe and cost efficient” Mwaipopo said.  He added that with regard to the development of the Mkuju River Project, Mantra and its investors are positive in developing the Mkuju River Project in spite of the depressed uranium market. “The Fukushima incident has impacted on the market significantly but the energy solution for the world will still continue to rely on uranium fuel for a foreseeable future,” he added.

Mwaipopo said the Mkuju Uranium Project will create a partnership between the Government and the projects’ investors urging that Mantra Tanzania is committed towards establishing a long-lasting relationship with Government and local communities surrounding the project.

Mr. Kawala from Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC) while presenting a paper on the role of TAEC in protection of the public and environment against radiation and in promoting safe and peaceful use of nuclear technology stated that levels of radiation in mining environment are measure and monitored adding that so far at Mkuju River Project they are within the normal range and nothing alarming.

Dr. Madoshi Makene an Environment Officer from the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) during the occasion said that there is a need for sustainable projects that meet today’s needs without compromising the environment for the future generation. 

The Energy and Minerals Ministry official, Zacharia Bongole informed the audience that Mkuju River Project is being permitted and licensed under the Mining Act 2010 which has new items that are being negotiated in the Mining Development Agreement with the investors. He informed the RCC that the government has a clear Minerals Policy of 2009 which covers Uranium as a mineral. 

The Namtumbo Member of Parliament, Hon. Vita Kawawa during the workshop emphasized that it is important for the Mining Projects to ensure that communities where such mines are located are in position to benefit from the operations of such mines. “Apart from CSR support from such projects, the Council should be given the Local Government Levy by mining companies which if well spent will tremendously contribute to the uplifting of the livelihood in the District,” Kawawa urged.

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