NIGER: new production record with 3,000 tonnes of uranium in 2012 on a site
operated by AREVA
PARIS -- December 21, 2012
The teams of the SOMAÏR* mining site recently packaged 3,000^th tonne of
uranium into drums.
SOMAÏR thereby sets a new annual production record for a second year in a row
as 2,700 tonnes of uranium have been produced on the site last year.
This success, which is part of the group performance plan to increase
production capacity at the mining site, has been made possible thanks to the
“SOMAÏR LIXI” project started in 2009, which enables low-content ore from the
deposit to be processed (< 1 kg uranium per tonne of extracted ore), thanks to
a technology known as "heap leaching"**.
All SOMAÏR employees met close to the mining site to celebrate this
operational success, in presence of the Prefect of the Department of Arlit,
the local mayor, representatives of the Niger Ministry for Mining and mining
companies, the main partners and stakeholders of AREVA in Niger, and local
"This new performance, which contributes to the growth of our mining
activities and secures the uranium supply, rewards the work accomplished by
the SOMAÏR’s team and the employees of the mining BG”, said Olivier Wantz,
Senior Executive Vice President, Mining Business Group.
*SOMAÏR: the Société des Mines de l’Aïr was founded in 1968. AREVA holds a
63.6% stake in the company, while SOPAMIN (Société du Patrimoine des Mines du
Niger – the Nigerien agency that manages the State’s mining interests) holds a
36.4% stake. Since 1971 it has operated several uranium deposits in the
department of Arlit (region of Agadez), Niger.
** heap leaching: crushed and sintered ore is laid out in regular heaps in
leaktight areas. Sulfuric acid-based solutions are then dripped onto the heaps
and percolate through the ore for several months to leach the uranium. The
enriched leach liquor is then processed in the site’s processing plant to
produce “Yellow Cake”.
AREVA supplies solutions for power generation with less carbon. Its expertise
and unwavering insistence on safety, security, transparency and ethics are
setting the standard, and its responsible development is anchored in a process
of continuous improvement.
Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA’s unique integrated
offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor
design and construction, and related services. The group is also expanding its
operations to renewable energies – wind, solar, bioenergies, hydrogen and
storage – to be one of the leaders in this sector worldwide.
With these two major offers, AREVA’s 48,000 employees are helping to supply
ever safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of
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