Monday, January 14, 2008

Heavy metal love affair: AREVA and Niger hug it out and fix a price

Areva, the French nuclear concern which recently saw its 30 year monopoly of Niger uranium end a few months back, renegotiated the price it will pay the West African country to mine the heavy metal

In a two-year agreement, Areva will pay nearly 50 percent more than the €60 per kilo price for uranium, which was negotiated this summer, Thomson Financial reported. Before that, the firm paid €42 per kilo, while uranium is now going for nearly €180 per kilo and currently enjoys its highest price in 40 years.

Here is backgrounder on some issues that existed between Areva and the Government of Niger.

This is from Thomson Financial:

The company also said it received government agreement to launch mining at the Imouraren deposit and to extend its exploration scope, confirming its role as a mine operator in Niger for the coming decades.

Areva plans to invest over 1 bln eur in the Imouraren mine, making it the biggest industrial mining project ever under consideration in Niger and placing it at the second world rank with almost 5,000 tons of uranium produced annually.

Agence France Presse points out, Areva is the country’s largest private employer and the French government supplies Niger with €8 million in aid per year.

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