AREVA, KEPCO sign partnership to develop Imouraren mine, plan to extend cooperation
GROUP / BG MINES
February 04, 2010
AREVA CEO Anne Lauvergeon and Ssang-Soo Kim, CEO of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), met in Paris today to sign an agreement for the Korean group to join the Imouraren mine in Niger.
The agreement is a continuation of that reached by AREVA and KEPCO for the Georges Besse II enrichment plant, and confirms their desire to work together at the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle.
Under the terms of the agreement, KEPCO will take an indirect 10 % stake in the Imouraren SA mining company, jointly owned by AREVA and the Nigerien state. In return, KEPCO is entitled to 10 % of the mine’s lifelong production to exclusively supply its reactors in Korea. KEPCO’s involvement in this industrial project provides major support to the partners already developing the Imouraren mine.
The Imouraren uranium deposit, 80 kilometers south of Arlit in northern Niger, is today considered one of the biggest in the world. Mining is scheduled to begin in 2013, with an annual production capacity of 5000 tons of uranium. Imouraren SA will be in charge of exploiting the mine, over what is expected to be more than thirty years.
AREVA and KEPCO also discussed the possibility of extending their cooperation to cover uranium conversion and enrichment activities, as well as used fuel recycling.