Tanzania: NDC plan to exploit soda ash reserves

Tanzania“s National Development Corporation (NDC) is making preparations to exploit huge soda ash reserves from Lake Natron in the Manyara Region. It is likely that the soda ash will be transported o…

Tanzania“s National Development Corporation (NDC) is making preparations to exploit huge soda ash reserves from Lake Natron in the Manyara Region. It is likely that the soda ash will be transported on the 450-km railway line from Tanga to Arusha, which is currently operating at only 10% of its capacity. It is not yet known whether NDC will directly export the soda ash or sell it locally to exporters. NDC official Mduka Kessy said there were plans to construct a deep-water berth at Mwambani Bay, some 30 kilometres from Tanga port. The Lake Natron brine is said to contain at least 8% sodium chloride. It is fed by hot springs of volcanic origin and by fumerolic emissions from Ol Doinyo Lengai. It is estimated that a layer of mixed salts averaging 1.5 metres in thickness covers at least 2,100 square kilometres of the north-west part of the lake.