I am a Uranium Exploration Geologist and I have worked in Tanzania.
I have found the this article slightly alarmist and short of technical facts. The biggest threat to the animals in the Selous, in my view is the unregulated Hunters and obvious poaching. These people shoot animals! Yes, they 'kill them' for trophies under the guise of establishing a commercial and sustainable industry, which better protects the wider reserve through revenue creation. This might seem trivial, but with the current poaching levels and latest elephant populations observed, this cannot continue under the current form. It is a slaughter without controls.
Recent attempts of anti poaching in the areas around Uranium 1 (Mkuju Uranium Project) is proving very successful. I have heard reports that there has not been a single elephant carcass for 6 months. This is a very positive outcome.
Who is paying for this you might ask.
Is it the Hunters claiming back their animals to shoot later? No!
Is it the very capable Tanzanian Govt, through their equally capable MNRT? No!
Is it the local MP in Namtumbo? No!
Is it the company trying to establish development/jobs and poverty alleviation in Tanzania? Yes!
Being critical of mining/development projects that could underpin the whole SGR is one thing, allowing for industry to better fund it through experts may be the answer?
Uranium and its decay products have been exposed and eroded into the Mbarangandu and the Luwegu Rivers for eons. This is a fact. All the rivers light up on any radiometric survey. To suggest mining will pollute is, in my view misleading. Co-existing is the key, through better protecting this threatened region. Having a mining company in the region would shed a very bright and focussed light on their activities, along with all other activities, including deforestation and poaching. It is the mid/top people in Tanzanian society benefiting from this destruction of natural resources. Eliminating this through other means of employment/opportunities will empower.
Lets perhaps also talk about birth control in Africa and family planning/education issues as real threats to the wider natural world.
This is intended as constructive points of discussion and add some support for Mining/Development/infrastructure for the Mtwarra Development Corridor.