MAC: Mines and Communities

Niger's "uranium-gate"

Published by MAC on 2017-04-10
Source: BBC, Mining.com (2017-04-13)

Embezzlement of public funds, money laundering, forgery and conspiracy to defraud

Niger court action over 'fraudulent' uranium deal

Activists in Niger have started legal action into a uranium deal in which the country is said to have lost $3.25m.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-39456878

31 March 2017

The scandal, known as "uranium-gate", resulted from a 2011 transaction between French nuclear giant Areva and companies both in Niger and abroad.

There is also a French investigation into some of Areva's business dealings, with aspects related to this deal.

Areva has not commented on the legal case in Niger, but says it is cooperating in the French enquiry.

Niger is one of the biggest uranium producers in the world and the metal is the country's largest export.

Many people turned up on Friday morning outside the court in the capital, Niamey, as representatives of civil society movements arrived to register the court action, the BBC's Himadou Hamadou said.

Their complaint alleges embezzlement of public funds, money laundering, forgery and conspiracy to defraud.

The legal action centres on the allegation that Areva in 2011 bought a stock of uranium from Niger at a discounted price.

Niger has two significant uranium mines that provides 7.5% of the world mining output from Africa's highest-grade uranium ores, according to the World Nuclear Association, the international organisation that represents the global nuclear industry.

Niger's first commercial uranium mine began operating in 1971, with a strong government support for expanding uranium mining.


Areva faces "uranium-gate" in Niger

Andrew Topf

http://www.mining.com/areva-faces-uranium-gate-niger/

April 2, 2017

French nuclear power giant Areva is reportedly cooperating with a legal enquiry by activists who say the company cheated Niger out of $3.25 million in uranium exports.

According to the BBC, the scandal known as "uranium-gate" resulted from a 2011 transaction between Areva, and companies in Niger and abroad:

Their complaint alleges embezzlement of public funds, money laundering, forgery and conspiracy to defraud.

The legal action centres on the allegation that Areva in 2011 bought a stock of uranium from Niger at a discounted price.

Back in 2014 Areva reached a deal with Niger's government to continue uranium mining as it pledged to pay more taxes and to indefinitely postpone a large project over profitability concerns.

At the time, opponents to Areva’s proposed Imouraren mine in Niger, the world's fourth-largest uranium producer, claimed the country's riches haven’t been translating into wealth for its citizens. According to Associated Press, critics have accused the state-owned French company of exploiting Nigeriens since it began operations in 1971.

The country provides 7.5% of the world's uranium through two significant, high-grade uranium mines, according to the World Nuclear Association.

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