Niger holds about 7% of the world’s uranium reserves and it’s the fifth biggest uranium producer globally
Niger will be holding the 3rd ECOWAS Mining & Petroleum Forum and Exhibition, ECOMOF 2021, with a focus on local content, energy and investment opportunities.
In April 2021, the Cominak mine ended operations entering a remediation phase. Work to bring Orano’s third mine into production, Imouraren, has been suspended since 2015, pending more favourable market conditions. Niger will be holding the 3rd ECOWAS Mining & Petroleum Forum and Exhibition, ECOMOF 2021, with a focus on local content, energy and investment opportunities
INSIGHTS FROM THE GROUND BY THE COUNTRY’S TWO MAIN URANIUM DEVELOPERS
Govi Ex Uranium, developing the Madaouela Uranium Project
“Madaouela is fully permitted, and we are doing preparations for the final feasibility study. The PFS completed in April 2021 was designed around simplifying the project and restructuring the flow of production with a focus on how the debt market would look at the project. Madaouela is forecast to produce approximately 2.5 million lb/y uranium for 20 years at a production cost of US$22/lb for the entire LOM, and US$18/lb for the first five years. Madaouela has significant exploration upside, but our focus is to complete the FS by mid 2022 and see the project financed by the end of next year.
External perceptions about countries like Niger are far from the reality on the ground – uranium has been produced continuously for decades, the mining code has not changed since 2006, and the country has had a democratic change of government every 4-8 years. We see a new wave of commercial ventures coming on board, together with big infrastructure developments like a brand-new airport at Niamey.”
Daniel Major, CEO, GoviEx Uranium
Global Atomic, developing the Dasa Uranium Project
“Dasa is the largest, highest-grade uranium deposit discovered in Africa in the last 50 years. The project is fully permitted, having received the mining permit at the end of 2020 and the environmental compliance certificate in January 2021. Our main priority today is to complete the feasibility study (FS) by the end of 2021. We are working on infrastructure developments, including site and camp improvements, and we recently signed a letter of intent with Canadian mine contractor CMAC-Thyssen to begin the initial underground development. The plan is to break ground for the mine portal in Q1 2022, with the Box-Cut excavation scheduled for January 2022.
The Phase 1 scenario is what we call the “Flank Zone” mining area, and it represents about 20% of the 250 million pounds deposit. We begin with the Flank Zone because it is close to surface and accessible by ramp, allowing us to get into the upper level of the ore body. Concurrently, we started a drill program to advance the rest of the deposit to a mineable category. The Phase 2 Mine Plan will incorporate these upgraded mineral resources.
Niger is the fifth largest uranium producer in the world, supplying a large amount of France’s nuclear fuel needs. For many years, the country was not promoted to foreign investors, Niger’s uranium business being controlled by French companies. Niger needs more promotion to attract foreign investors and a success at the Dasa project will go a long way to making that a reality. Niger is a great place to work, with a supportive government and local population, and I believe, the country is starting to get recognition on the world stage both for mining and oil.”
Stephen G. Roman, President and CEO, Global Atomic