Major Uranium producer Niger has awarded a permit to GoviEx Niger Holdings Ltd., a subsidiary of Canada Stock Exchange (CSE)-listed GoviEx Uranium Inc., to exploit uranium for investments worth $676 million at its Madaouela Project, the government said in a statement.
GoviEx’s principal asset is the Madaouela Project, an advanced-stage exploration property located in close proximity to the Somair and Cominak mines in the Agadez region of north central Niger. The Madaouela Project consists of GoviEx’s ownership interest in seven brownfields exploration permits known as Madaouela I, II, III, IV, Agal, Era and Anou Mellé. The exploration rights to the Madaouela Project are 100 percent held by GoviEx’s direct wholly-owned subsidiary, GoviEx Niger Holdings Ltd. However, the Government of Niger retains a 10 percent carried interest in all mining projects upon the conversion from exploration licence to mining licence, with the option to purchase an additional 30 percent equity interest at fair market value.
Niger provides approximately 8 percent of world uranium mined output from Africa’s highest-grade mines. The ore accounts for over 70 percent of national export proceeds and is key to the nuclear energy program of France, its clolonial master. French state-owned nuclear company Areva also operates in the central Nigerien region where GoviEx’s mines are located .
The landlocked West African country also granted four permits for uranium exploration to GoviEx and two other companies.