Official visit of the Minister of Mines and Industrial Development to the SOMAÏR, COMINAK and IMOURAREN mining sites

News brief

January 16, 2012

On January 11 and 12, the Nigerien minister of state for mining and industrial development, Oumar Hamidou Tchana, visited the AREVA mining sites at Arlit and Imouraren. He was accompanied by the governor of the Agadez region, technical advisors to the country’s president and prime minister, the prefect of Arlit, and top ministry officials.

 Welcomed at the sites by the managing directors of AREVA Mines Niger, SOMAÏR, COMINAK and IMOURAREN SA, the ministerial delegation first visited the COMINAK underground mine and then moved on to the SOMAÏR open pit mine, where it also looked over the heap leaching facilities and the uranate packing plant. The official tour continued at Imouraren, where the group was able to see the progress being made on the open pit mine and the airfield.

The minister met staff from the group as well as the personnel at the sites and representatives of the national mine workers’ union, to speak about a number of issues.

This visit afforded an opportunity to show government officials that the Imouraren project was moving forward and that rumors of the project’s having been put on hold were unfounded. The minister took advantage of it to reaffirm the Nigerien government’s desire to make the mining sector a driver of economic development and to reiterate his strong commitment to the Imouraren project and the welfare of the Nigerien people.

* SOPAMIN SA is the company through which the Nigerien government owns shareholdings in SOMAÏR, COMINAK, SML, IMOURAREN SA and SOMINA.