Niger: Imouraren Uranium facility & potential restart

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The plans for exploiting the gigantic Imouraren uranium deposit were on the cards. Four days later, on June 12th, the French group Orano began “pre-studies” of the site, which is situated south of Arlig. In the current context, it is important to note that the mine has remained inactive for about nine years. This is so especially when Niamey’s authorities are engaged in a confrontational standoff with western mining operators.

Orano, which holds the majority stake in Imouraren SA, noted in their statement: “Imouraren SA has now another step forward to exploit the deposit. ” The French expert uranium said the facility has been again early to allow construction teams to move the work forward.

Imouraren is the largest uranium deposit in the world and has a potential of producing 200 barrels per day. At the onset the project was scheduled to commence in 2015 but due to a counsel from the Fukushima disaster that saw prices of nuclear fuel drop, the project was halted. Due to the factors such as the improvement of “current market conditions, with a favourable movement in the direction of increased prices,” AJVS, the exploitation became feasible again.

Still, Orano’s announcement also comes as Niamen’s authorities impose new pressures on the foreign mining companies at its territory. It has threatened to source its needs from other countries such as Russia or Iran as the Nigerien government continues to give ultimatums.

By a recent statement, the Nigerien junta has cautioned the Canadians firm Goviex that the permit on Madaouela will be ceased if exploitation of uranium is not begun by July 3rd. In the preliminary report, there is some information from a source within civil society of Arlit which reported that Orano has also received a similar threat of termination of services for Imouraren with an ultimatum set for June 19, 2024.

Soukaina Sghir

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