Areva says Niger uranium mine operational after attack

7th August 2013, Comments 0 comments

French nuclear power group Areva has resumed full production of uranium at the Somair site at Arlit in northern Niger which was attacked in May, the company said on Wednesday.

The Somair mine is the biggest operated by Areva in Niger.

Somair stands for Societe des mines de l'Air. Areva owns 64.0 percent of the company and the state of Niger 36 percent.

The site at Arlit produced 3,065 tonnes of uranium in 2012.

Areva extracts more than one third of the uranium it needs in Niger through two companies, Somair and Cominak.

Production was halted after a suicide attack on May 23 which killed one person and wounded 14 others, all of whom were from Niger and worked for Areva.

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by extremist Muslim groups.

Work on extracting uranium was resumed on May 24 and on June 18 one of the two production lines was reactivated.

Areva said that both production lines were now working. The site was now fully operational two months ahead of plan.

The French firm intends to open its third mine in the country the giant Imouraren mine within two years.

© 2013 AFP

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