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Niger withdraws the uranium mining permit from the French company ORANO (formerly Areva)

Ouagadougou: Niger has withdrawn from Orano, a French company formerly known as Areva, the permit to exploit the Imouraren uranium deposit, considered one of the largest deposits of uranium in the world and located in the north of the country.

‘The Minister of Mines, Police Colonel Abarchi Ousmane, notified the Director General of Imouraren SA that the land covered by the ‘Imouraren Permit’ returns to the public domain and is freed from any resulting rights,’ reported this Friday the Niger Press Agency (ANP)

Orano says it has taken ‘note of the decision of the Niger authorities to withdraw from its subsidiary Imouraren SA its permit to exploit the deposit’ according to information disseminated by both the Niger Press Agency and the French Press Agency. .

Orano said it was open to discussions with the Niger authorities but warned that it reserves the right to ‘contest’ this decision to withdraw the operating permit before national or international judicial authorities.

The Nigerien ministry in charge of mi
nes had warned Orano officials, on June 11, 2024, that the permit granted to them for the Imouraren site would be withdrawn if the company did not undertake mining work, within three months, after a first warning dated February.

Orano officials reacted to the warnings by proposing an intervention plan that did not meet Niger’s expectations.

Orano has been exploiting Niger’s uranium deposits for more than 50 years. Its operating site located in the Arlit region is still in operation.

About a quarter of the supply of natural uranium to European nuclear power plants in 2022 came from Niger, the 2nd country behind Kazakhstan and ahead of Canada, according to AFP

The Nigerien authorities, at least since President Tandja, have always expressed their dissatisfaction with the exploitation of the country’s mines.

Source: Burkina Information Agency