'Full government support' for Niger uranium project

16 October 2023

The Government of Niger has confirmed its "full support" for Global Atomic Corporation's Dasa uranium project, the company has said. The project is still pencilled in to make its first yellowcake deliveries in 2025 and remains unimpaired by a recent US decision to put a hold on US Development Bank financing following the coup that took place in Niger earlier this year.

The ramp leading to the Dasa ore body pictured in April, when it had reached a depth of 325 metres - 40% of the way to reach the ore level (Image: Global Atomic)

The US State Department on 10 October officially designated the events in the African republic at the end of July 2023 as a coup d’├ętat. Most US assistance to the government of Niger, with the exception of humanitarian, food and health assistance, has now been suspended pending action by Niger to return to "democratic governance". This includes US Development Bank financing.

Toronto-headquartered Global Atomic, which is developing the high-grade uranium deposit 105km south of the established uranium mining town of Arlit, said it has been "engaged in contingency planning with parties interested in non-dilutive financing options at the operating level" from groups interested in buying uranium from the mine.

Existing uranium offtake agreements with utilities are unaffected by the State Department decision, the company said, and the company has "no immediate need to finance" as it has sufficient cash on hand for the next 12 months. The company recently announced its third offtake agreement - for the sale of up to 3.5 million pounds U3O8 (1346 tU) from the project to a North American utility beginning in 2026 - and said it has received additional Requests for Proposal for uranium offtake agreements from utilities. Nearly 1.5 million pounds U3O8 per year over the first five years of the mine's operation, representing nearly 30% of scheduled production, are now contracted under such offtake agreements.

"The Government of Niger has confirmed its full support for the Dasa Project and recognises it’s a new mine that will benefit the Republic of Niger by creating new jobs and opportunities for local business and revitalise the northern region of the country," Global Atomic President and CEO Stephen Roman said. The Government has offered its encouragement in the development of Dasa and all support required to accelerate construction and the start of mining operations.”

Logistics issues regarding importing goods into Niger are being addressed by the government, which has recently given full approval for the transport of goods via ports in Ghana and Togo and overland via Burkina Faso, the company added. Internal flights are expected to be restored shortly.

Mine excavation began at Dasa in 2022, and the project's 2021 Phase 1 Feasibility Study estimates yellowcake delivery to utilities to begin in 2025. A revised mine plan for Dasa that will integrate recently updated mineral resource figures is nearing completion and will form the basis of a revised feasibility study to be completed in the first half of 2024, the company said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News