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In Niger, France is also pushed out of uranium mines



A few sober words in a laconic press release. “Orano takes note of the decision of the Niger authorities to withdraw from its subsidiary Imouraren SA its permit to exploit the deposit, despite the resumption of activities on the site in accordance with the expectations they had expressed.”

This is how the French company Orano acknowledged receipt of the decision of the Nigerien authorities, on June 20, to withdraw the operating permit for the Imouraren uranium mine from the French industrialist Orano. The deposit, located to the west of the Aïr massif, in northern Niger, has reserves estimated at 200,000 tonnes.

Air Infowhich reproduces this extract from the press release, specifies that the French company does not exclude the possibility of challenging this unilateral decision in court. Information confirmed by Seneweb, which indicates that the press release specifies that Orano is “willing to keep open all channels of communication with the authorities of Niger on this subject, while reserving the right to contest the decision to withdraw the operating permit before the competent judicial authorities, national or international”.

The blow is all the harder for the uranium mining company since, through its three subsidiaries (Somaïr, Cominak and Imouraren), the French group Orano, formerly Areva, has been present for more than fifty years in Niger. The surprise is great because, on June 13, the Deutsche Welle (DW) reported, however, that Orano (formerly Areva) “(would) soon exploit the large uranium deposit of Imouraren, in Niger”.

The work leading to the exploitation of the site had started in 2009, but it had been suspended, continues the German title, in particular due to the fall in uranium prices on the world market, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, in Japan in 2011.

Orano currently operates a single uranium mine in Niger,

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