The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has approved regulations to guide Zambia's uranium mining activities, Zambian Mines Minister Kalombo Mwansa said.
The regulations encompass the proposed mining, milling and transportation of uranium and other radioactive minerals in the country, he said in the Southern province of the country.
Mwansa said Friday this when he visited the Muntanga uranium exploration site under Omega Corporation Minerals Limited of Australia in Siavonga in the province.
The minister said his ministry will begin the issuance of uranium mining licences to prospecting companies in June this year. There is need to promote the mining of uranium in view of the energy crisis in the country, as uranium can be used as a source of energy in the absence of hydropower, said the minister.
Omega Corporation Minerals Limited Country Manager Roger Staley said his company is expected to produce its first uranium by August 2011. It has taken note of the environmental concerns raised over the mining of uranium.
Strict measures have been put in place to minimize risks emanating from uranium mining, he said.
Staley said about 600 families will have to be displaced to pave way for mining activities in the area.
(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2008)