Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has signed an agreement with AREVA for development of Niger-based Imouraren uranium mine.
The agreement is a continuation of a pact between both companies for the Georges Besse II enrichment plant.
The pact is inline with KEPCO’s strategy to increase South Korea’s self-development rate of uranium and acquire mines and mining firms to meet rising demand.
By 2020, KEPCO wants its own-developed overseas mines to meet 50% of its uranium demand.
According to the agreement, KEPCO is entitled to a 10% indirect share in the Imouraren mining company, which is jointly owned by AREVA and Niger.
KEPCO can also take 10% of the mine’s output, exclusively meant for its reactors in Korea.
Mining work at the Imouraren deposit, which is expected to generate 5,000t of uranium per annum, will start in 2013.
Exploration work at the mine will be supervised by Imouraren and is likely to last for more than three decades.
KEPCO and AREVA may increase the scope of their collaboration to include uranium conversion and enrichment work in addition to used fuel recycling in the near future.