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Friday, 17 October 2008

Mine Watch (Lumwana)

Reuters report that Lumwana Mining Company plans to produce 1.0 million tonnes of high-grade uranium at full tilt once full operations start, according to company data released this week. It is projected that uranium output will last nine years.

Reuters reported last week (and repeated in the cited articled) that the Ministry of Mines had "enacted a law for mining, storage and export of uranium" which bars the diversion of the mineral for use in making nuclear weapons or devices. However, there's no such "law" on the statute books, and my checks with the National Assessmbly proved the same. According to Reuters, "the law" covers the prospecting, mining and milling of uranium ores and other radioactive minerals ores, gives all powers in the mines minister to issue licences for mining and exports of uranium as a safeguard to ensure the mineral is exported to the right consumers.

Perhaps someone can clarify whether we are dealing with a directive from Kalambo Mwansa or something more enshrined. In any case LMC appear confident that now money awaits from this uranium spin-off project. Incidentally, I am sure what the fiscal regime with respect to uranium - explanations welcome!

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