A miner getting out of a mine in Arusha. Tanzania has huge deposits of uranium. File Photo By Leonard Magomba Posted Monday, May 2 2011 at 18:11 Tanzania hopes to grow its mining industry by at least 7.7 per cent annually for the next five years. The growth of the industry will be mainly buoyed by increased investment in the production of coal, uranium and nickel three sub sectors the government sees as potential big income earners. The Tanzania Mining Report in the Business Monitor International magazine said increased gold production and large-scale commercial uranium mining would also drive this growth. Tanzania is Africas third largest gold producer after Ghana and South Africa but also has reserves of diamonds, uranium, nickel and coal. Coal is set to become one of the fastest-growing mining sectors in Tanzania as the country looks to coal-fired power to offset an energy shortage that is holding back development, the report said. Tanzanias coal fired generation of power is set for a significant boost after a joint venture between the government and a private company, Tancoal Energy. Mineral resources We have hit intended targets and there are 400 million metric tonnes of coal in the Ngaka basin, which is a big resource base, said Peter Tsegas, managing director of Tancoal. Earnings from gold exports jumped by 62 per cent in the year to July 2010 to $1.36 billion, while volumes rose by 31 per cent to 38.1 tonnes, according to the countrys central bank. When opening the new offices of the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission in Arusha, President Jakaya Kikwete said Tanzania was eyeing the worlds biggest uranium producer slot. If all the reserves we have are fully exploited, Tanzania can become the seventh leading uranium producers in the world, said Kikwete. Already Mantra Resources and a Russian firm ARMZ have entered into a joint venture to mine uranium. Tanzania has so far confirmed the presence of multiple thick zones of sandstone-hosted uranium mineralisation at shallow depths at the Nyota Prospect. An Inferred Mineral Resource of 35.9 million pounds (U3O8) has been estimated for the Prospect, Kikwete said this initial resource estimate is based on drilling that covers only a small part of the total area of the Prospect, and the potential exists to substantially grow the resource base with ongoing work. Tanzania which mainly depends on tourism, mining and agriculture and is attracting investor interest in telecommunications, energy, manufacturing, financial services and transport, expects its economy to grow by 7.2 per cent in 2011 from 7.0 per cent last year.