Mining of the TAZA North deposit begins


April 15, 2013

Official ceremony with the Director of Operations at SOMAÏR and the mayor of Arlit


On April 13, 2013, SOMAÏR*, a mining company operated by AREVA in northern Niger, launched mining at the TAZA North deposit at an official ceremony attended by the mayor of Arlit and local authorities of the Agadez region.

Geologists from SOMAÏR and AREVA discovered this shallow deposit after four years of drilling over an area of 170 sq. km. Uranium reserves are estimated at more than 4,000 tonnes. TAZA will be the ninth uranium deposit mined by SOMAÏR since the company was created in 1968.

The mining project, which will require reduced water consumption, will advance the Group’s continuous performance improvement policy, which has an objective of maintaining SOMAÏR’s production capacity at 3,000 tons of uranium over the long term.

Commented Salifou Ahadjira, Director of Operations at SOMAÏR: “I am very satisfied to see the mining of this deposit get under way this year. It represents significant economic benefits for SOMAÏR and its partners, which are working with the aim of producing 3,000 tons of uranium annually while reducing production costs to make the company more competitive.”

The mayor of ARLIT restated his desire to see SOMAÏR’s operations continue running smoothly and his readiness to support any initiative designed to maintain an untroubled labor climate at the mining companies.

* SOMAÏR (Société des Mines de l’Aïr) is owned 63.6% by AREVA and 36.4% by SOPAMIN (Société du Patrimoine des Mines du Niger, the government agency that manages Niger’s mining interests).