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AREVA uranium miner under pressure to stop ripping off Niger

areva-medusa1Niger, Areva tussle over future of uranium mining YahooNews,2 Feb 14 By Joris Fioriti, Boureima HamaNiamey (AFP) – Niger’s government and French nuclear giant Areva are engaged in tough talks on the future of uranium mining in the west African country, whose leaders want more money from the resource to help pay for development……

The news followed weeks of shutdown in the world’s fourth-largest uranium producer which is mired in poverty and ranks last on the United Nations’ Human Development Index……
The government wanted to apply a 2006 mining law that ends tax breaks for foreign companies to Areva, which has thus far been exempt. If the 2006 law were applied, its tax rate would rise to 12 percent……
Niger is seeking greater control of its natural resources and uranium accounts for more than 70 percent of exports, according to Oxfam France. The charity is lobbying for a fairer distribution of the mining wealth….
The situation is worsened by plummeting uranium prices, which fell from 290 euros per kilo in 2008 to about 61 euros per kilo in 2013,…..
“Areva’s people take advantage of negligence by successive regimes in Niger to practise their greed,” Sanoussi Jackou, an advisor to President Mahamadou Issoufou, recently said in a televised debate.

No previous regime has sought to change the cooperation accords signed with France in the 1960s. Jackou said they gave the ex-colonial power 75 years of “advantages” when it came to uranium mining….

Ali Idrissa of Rotab, a Nigerien association, demanded the application of the 2006 tax law to Areva.

“Neither Areva’s blackmail of its personnel, nor a ban on demonstrations by Nigerien authorities, will dampen our determination to fight for a win-win contract,” he said.

February 3, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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