Work continues at Dasa as Niger 'relatively calm'

11 August 2023

Global Atomic Corporation said the current circumstances in Niger could delay commissioning of the processing plant at its Dasa project by up to 12 months, but expects to be able to resume dialogue with the country's Ministry of Mines following the appointment of a new minister.

Underground development at Dasa officially began in November 2022 (Image: Global Atomic)

Announcing the company's quarterly update on 10 August, Global Atomic President and CEO Stephen Roman said the situation in Niger remains "fluid" but the country is "relatively calm" following the events of 26 July, when presidential guards placed the country's president, Mohamed Bazoum, under house arrest.

"Positive developments today include the appointment of a new civilian-military coalition cabinet and all the new Ministers who will run the Government," he added. Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine - formerly the Minister of Finance for Niger - has been appointed Prime Minister.

"The newly appointed Energy, Mines and Petroleum Minister, Mr Mahaman Moustapha Barké, who was formerly the head of the Niger uranium company, SOPAMIN, was appointed today," he added. "This will now enable SOMIDA personnel to resume dialogue with the Mines Ministry to confirm their support for the Dasa Project. In addition, land borders are reopening. We expect the movement of goods and services will resume in due course. The Head of ECOWAS has also announced diplomatic discussions would continue to resolve issues and use of military force would be a last resort."

SOMIDA (Société Minière de Dasa SA), Global Atomic's Niger mining subsidiary, is 20%-owned by the government of Niger.

SOMIDA's operations in Niger's capital Niamey and at the Dasa mine site have not been impacted to date, except for delays in receipt of mine consumable supplies and other shipments from outside Niger, the company said. However, it has assessed project development options to conserve cash until the political situation stabilises and full-scale operations can resume.

It has developed a contingency plan, which it says could delay commissioning of the processing plant at the site by 6 to 12 months. To match the delivery of ore from mining activities with startup of the plant, the company says it would also defer continued development of the underground mine workings which are now ahead of schedule, and would plan to have an ore stockpile on surface prior to mill commissioning.

Underground development began at Dasa in November 2022, targeting the production of yellowcake for delivery to utilities early in 2025.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News