State urged to come up with uranium policy

State urged to come up with uranium policy

GOVERNMENT should consider coming up with a clear policy on how to extract uranium at large-scale mining in Zambia that will enhance revenue generation from the mineral resource, Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has said. 

SARW Zambia country manager Edward Lange said it is important to have a framework that adequately deals with the hazardous nature of uranium. 

Mr Lange said in an interview on Friday that uranium is a hazardous commodity and extracting it at large scale should be supported by a uranium policy that will protect both humans and the environment. 

“The question we should be asking now is that Zambia ready for extracting of uranium? There should be a uranium policy put in place to guide the country on mining of the product,” he said. 

He called on Government to strengthen the 2013 Mineral Act by including a separate policy on uranium. 

He said SARW has been advocating for the introduction of a uranium policy in the country to support the growth of the mining sector. 

Uranium is a radio-active element that occurs naturally in low concentrations (a few parts per million) in soil, rock, and surface and groundwater and is being stock-piled at Barrick Lumwana mine and Tenson Mining Limited in Siavonga in Southern Province among other areas. 

Mr Lange said the presence of the commodity should be handled with care because the negative impact can be noticed on a long-term basis.