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« Taiwan to halt construction at fourth nuclear power plant | Main | China: Nuclear plants to get the nod »
Tuesday
Apr222014

Niger could sign new deal with Areva within days: mines minister

Chart courtesy of u308.biz

(Reuters) - The government of Niger, the world's fourth largest uranium producer, is on the verge of renewing an agreement with French state-controlled nuclear group Areva, the West African nation's mines minister said on Sunday.

Niger, one of the world's poorest nations, is pushing to boost revenues from its uranium, but Areva, which dominates the sector in the country, has claimed that increasing royalties would make its operations there unprofitable.

"We are very, very close to a deal. All that remains is to finalize it. We will sign in the weeks, or even the days to come," Mines Minister Omar Hamidou Tchiana said in an interview with private television stations Labari and Dounia.

Despite opening negotiations two years ago, Areva and Niger failed to reach a new agreement before the 10-year contracts expired on December 31.

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou has previously characterized the expired contracts as a throwback to the post-colonial era, when France played a dominant role in the economies of its former African territories.

The miners have started 2014 very well indeed on the back of rising gold prices, so the question is; is this the real deal or another head fake? Is the bottom really in? Could there be a final capitulation just ahead of us? Will the summer doldrums take the PMs lower?

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