Areva Announces Niger Mine Project

French nuclear energy group Areva has announced it is undertaking Niger's biggest industrial mining project as part of an agreement with the government.

Areva will invest almost US$1.5bn to develop the Imoumaren uranium site, which will be the second largest in the world, producing almost 5,000t annually.

The government has also renewed an agreement that lays down the conditions for buying uranium produced from the Areva-controlled Somair and Cominak mines - Niger's only two active mine sites, producing around 3,500t of uranium a year.

Government forecasts say that investments and other developments in the country could lead to uranium output reaching as much as 10,000t by 2011.

By Ahsanul Islam