7 January 2009 – It has been reported that the biggest ever uranium mining deal has been signed by the West African country of Niger and an international nuclear giant.

According to Minister of Mines and Energy for Niger, Mohamed Abdoulayi, French nuclear company, Areva, have signed a deal which allows Areva to mine at Imouraren in northern Niger.  Areva will hold 66% shares in the project with Niger holding the remaining 34%.

The deal has been described as the country’s biggest project with investment of some US$800 billion and the potential to employ some 1 400 people.  Areva is expected to begin production in 2012.