April 18, 2011

Ethiopia takes stock of its uranium deposit

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 7:59 pm

The Ethiopian Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Russian Geological Survey, is assessing the uranium deposit discovered six years ago in Bale zone, in the Oromia Regional State. The amount of deposit of uranium ore is not yet determined. However, the samples tested at the geochemical laboratory of the Ministry of Mines have shown positive results. The testing results were confirmed by another geochemical laboratory in Canada.

Recently, the Russian Geological Survey, Zaru Bezggeologia, started assisting the uranium exploration projects being undertaken in Bale and Borena. Financed by the Russian government, Zaru Bezggeologia, is providing technical assistance to the geological survey. The project was launched at the end of last January. Zaru Bezggeologia has assigned one expert to work in the field as well as in the office in Addis Ababa.

Hunde Melka, chief geologist at the Ethiopian Geological Survey, told The Reporter the Russian Geological Survey is proving professionals and equipment for the Uranium exploration projects in Bale and Borena zones. Hunde said a Russian geologist is providing training to experts of the Ethiopian Geological Survey. The experts are working with the Russian geologists in the Bale and Borena zones where uranium deposits have been identified.

“At this point we cannot say we have discovered this or that. We are trying to make assessments where there are indications of uranium,” Hunde told The Reporter. “We will decide what to do next based on our assesments.”

Gebreigzabher Mekonnen, head of the minerals operations department, told The Reporter that the partnership with the Russian Geological Survey on the ongoing uranium project is not aimed at developing the deposit. “It is a technical cooperation financed by the Russian government.”

According to Gebreigzabher, data from the Bale and Borena zones are being collected and compiled. A private company has applied to be given an exploration license in the Bale zone where uranium was found. The application is being reviewed by the ministry.



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