July 17, 2024

Niger revokes Canadian GoviEx’s uranium mining license at Madaouéla

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Niger revokes Canadian GoviEx’s uranium mining license at Madaouela

Niger revokes Canadian GoviEx’s uranium mining license at Madaouela

The government of Niger has revoked the mining license for a significant uranium deposit near Arlit, northern Niger, previously held by the Canadian group GoviEx (Govi High-Power Exploration), the company announced on Thursday, July 4.

In a statement reported by Le Monde, GoviEx indicated that it was “informed by the Ministry of Mines of the Republic of Niger, through a letter, that it no longer has rights over the mining permit area of Madaouéla, which is now in the public domain.”

The affected area spans over 243 km².

The Canadian company asserts that “the decision to revoke its rights did not follow the procedure dictated by the current mining code” and “reserves the right to challenge” this decision “before competent national or international courts.”

Earlier in April, GoviEx had received a directive from the Nigerien government to commence mining operations by July 3, under the risk of permit revocation.

“The government’s decision will have a negative impact on the economic and social development of the region,” GoviEx warned, particularly highlighting the potential loss of “significant job opportunities” numbering up to 800.

The mine’s lifespan is estimated to be twenty years.

This action follows Niamey’s June 19 decision to also revoke the mining permit for the giant uranium deposit at Imouraren, near Arlit, previously held by the French group Orano (formerly Areva). Orano expressed openness to dialogue with authorities while also reserving the right to contest the decision in court.

Imouraren ranks among the world’s largest uranium deposits, with estimated reserves of 200,000 tonnes, contributing 4.7% to global natural uranium production.

Nigerien authorities have repeatedly expressed their intention to review the mechanism governing the exploitation of natural resources by foreign companies on its soil.

As the situation unfolds, GoviEx and other affected parties continue to assess their legal options amidst a backdrop of economic implications and regulatory scrutiny in Niger’s lucrative uranium sector.

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