Niger government increases stake in Dasa uranium project

12 August 2022

Global Atomic has completed the formation of its Niger mining subsidiary which is to be 20% owned by the country's government. Societé Minière DASA SA (SOMIDA) will be responsible for operating the Dasa project, which is on track for yellowcake production in early 2025.

A worker stands in the recently completed box-cut at Dasa (Image: Global Atomic)

SOMIDA will be 80%-owned by Global Atomic, with the government holding the remainder which includes the 10% of shares mandated for government ownership by Niger's Mining Code. The government will be obligated to contribute 10% of all capital and operating costs over the life of the mine. Moussa Souley has been appointed as SOMIDA's managing director and Robert Parr as Dasa project director.

The decision by the government to acquire and fund an additional 10% interest reflects its confidence in the quality of the deposit and longevity of the mine in a country where uranium mining plays an important social-economic role, said Global Atomic President and CEO Stephen Roman. He thanked President Mohamed Bazoum and Minister of Mines Hadizatou Ousseini Yacouba for their support.

The government's commitment will be viewed positively by the banking syndicate which is currently carrying out a due diligence review of the project, he said. The names of the of the North American financial institutions making up the syndicate, which was formed in June, will not be released until the completion of due diligence and approvals from financial institutions, but Global Atomic has confirmed that Canadian state-owned export credit agency Export Development Canada is one of them.

Global Atomic has said it expects to complete financing arrangements for Dasa in the final quarter of this year. Site works are progressing: the box-cut excavation for the mine has been completed, with ground support installed subsequent to the end of the quarter and work is under way in preparation for portal and ramp development, the company said in its quarterly update on 11 August. Mining equipment and supplies have arrived on site and at the Port of Cotonou in Benin to support the start of mine development and contract miner CMAC-Thyssen is to begin training programmes during the present quarter and start mine development in the final quarter of this year.

"With all permits in place and project financing scheduled for completion by the end of the year, Dasa remains on track for yellowcake production by the beginning of 2025," Roman said.

The high-grade Dasa project was discovered in 2010 and is fully permitted for commercial production. According to a mineral resource statement dated June 2019, the deposit has total indicated resources of 101.6 million pounds U3O8 (39,080 tU) and inferred resources of 87.6 million pounds. The company says it expects to update the mineral resource estimate and after the current drilling programme which it expects to complete in September.

Global Atomic is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News