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Niger: AREVA to mine the Imouraren deposit

Press release

NUCLEAR POWER / MINING

January 05, 2009

Under the mining agreement signed today in Niamey between the government of Niger and Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA, the group has been granted the permit to mine the Imouraren deposit.

Crowning three years of research and development, this comes at the end of an in-depth process to validate the industrial, social and environmental aspects of the project being proposed to Niger.
During her discussions with its Excellency Mamadou Tandja, the President of the Republic of Niger, Anne Lauvergeon said how proud the AREVA group was to be strengthening its historic partnership with Niger which stretches back fifty years.

Under the agreement, AREVA will have a 66.65% share in the newly created mining company, with the remaining 33.35% being owned by the State of Niger.

With an ultimate annual production of 5000 metric tons for more than 35 years, an initial investment of more than 1.2 billion euros (800 billion CFA francs) and the creation of almost 1400 direct jobs, mining at Imouraren is the largest industrial project ever to be envisaged in Niger. Imouraren is the largest uranium mine in Africa and the second largest in the world. Mining is due to begin in 2012 and will enable Niger to double its current production, making it the world’s second largest uranium producer.

Over and above the financial benefits of the mine, AREVA will continue and even strengthen its social and economic development policy in Niger. The group is involved in projects to improve health, education and training, transport and access to water and energy for the local populations and works hand-in-hand with all the project stakeholders. It will be committing 6 million euros to these projects every year for the next five years.