COMINAK, operator of the largest underground uranium mine
Updated October 2015
COMINAK has been mining deep uranium deposits in northwestern Niger since 1978. COMINAK (Compagnie Minière d’Akouta) was founded in 1974. AREVA holds 34% of its capital; SOPAMIN (Niger) 31%, OURD (Overseas Uranium Resources Development Company Ltd, Japan) 25%, and ENUSA (Empresa Nacional des Uranio S.A, Espagne) 10%.
The largest underground uranium mine in the world
The mine is located at a depth of 250 meters and has more than 250 kilometers of tunnels. Its uranium ore has an average grade of 4‰ (4 kg of uranium per metric ton of ore).
After extraction, the ore is dynamically processed (crushing, fine grinding, chemical treatment, washing, filtration, drying and packaging) to obtain uranium concentrate. This is done in an on-site plant with an annual production capacity of 2,000 metric tons.
Production of the mining site
In 2014, COMINAK produced 1,501 metric tons of uranium, including the share of 510 metric tons available to AREVA*.
This brings the total production for the mining company since it began operations in 1978 to more than 67,900 metric tons.
* Share available to AREVA: portion of resources and production sold/distributed to AREVA by the mining joint venture
Mining operations that support local development
COMINAK's commitment to excellence and continuous performance improvement as regards the health and safety of its workers and protection of the environment enabled it in 2015 to maintain its certification to both:
- ISO 14001 (sustainable management and protection of the environment), held since 2003,
- and OHSAS 18001 for its management system compliant with occupational health and safety standards, held since 2011.
COMINAK also fosters access to health and social services in an isolated region, thus helping to improve living conditions for the local populations.
COMINAK has about 1,650 employees, 98% of whom are Nigerien. Its headquarters are at Niamey.
Immeuble Sonora I
Place du Rond Point Kennedy
BP 10 545
Tel.: (227) 20 73 81 47
Fax: (227) 20 73 28 55